Gold miners and activists to meet

Local community organizations opposed to mining and Pacific Rim, a Canadian gold mining company, are scheduled to meet soon. According to a Pacific Rim press release, the meeting will be facilitated by the office of El Salvador's human rights ombudsman:
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 02/21/07 -- A meeting scheduled for mid-February 2007 between Pacific Rim Mining Corp. ("Pacific Rim" or the "Company") (TSX: PMU)(AMEX: PMU), local community representatives, and two El Salvadoran Non-Governmental Organizations ("NGOs") responsible for organizing anti-mining protests at the Company's Santa Rita gold project in El Salvador in late 2006 is being rescheduled and moved to San Salvador from the local city of Sensuntepeque. Pacific Rim strongly supports these changes and is eager to continue to participate openly and in good faith.

The forthcoming meeting will be mediated by the San Salvador-based executive directorate of Procuraduria de Derechos Humanos. This independent El Salvador human rights organization moderated the first meeting between these groups in December 2006, which was called after anti-mining protests, staged on the Company's Santa Rita property by El Salvadoran NGOs using agitators primarily from outside the local communities, took on a more violent tone. At this initial meeting, Pacific Rim voluntarily committed to temporarily suspend its Phase 1 drilling program at the Santa Rita project as sign of goodwill aimed at resolving the concerns of the NGOs through open and productive dialogue. The Company will continue to honor its commitment to postpone the Santa Rita exploration drilling program, so long as productive discussions with the NGOs and local stakeholders concerning the technical and environmental details of its drilling program continue.

"The Santa Rita project represents an excellent exploration opportunity for Pacific Rim," states Tom Shrake, President and CEO. "Santa Rita also presents us with an opportunity to address in good faith the concerns of all stakeholders so that we can resume our legal rights as granted by the laws of El Salvador to conduct exploration work on the Santa Rita project, where the vast majority of the local residents are in favor of our project. We are deeply committed to a non-violent process of reconciling the concerns expressed by the NGOs with our social and environmental best practices. In the meantime, we will continue our successful exploration initiatives at the El Dorado gold project, where a number of new high grade gold discoveries were recently made, including the highly prospective Balsamo vein, and elsewhere in El Salvador where we are exploring for new high grade, environmentally clean gold systems similar to El Dorado."

You can read Pacific Rim's view of how it has addressed environemental concerns here. A technical review from Mining Watch, which is critical of the Pacific Rim environmental impact statement for its El Dorado mine, can be found here. The August 2006 statement of the PDDH [in Spanish] regarding the necessity of balancing mineral extraction activities in the country with human rights and the protection of the environment can be found here. Without commenting on the merits of the dispute, I think the fact that the parties are engaged in dialogue is a good thing.


Anonymous said…
I think they have no option but to talk. The vast majority of folks I know in the region are against the mining as set out previously. They are willing to do what is in their power to prevent actions that would destroy or harm communities in that area. My fervent prayer is that things can be worked out through dialog.
El-Visitador said…
Had a good chuckle reading the so-called "technical review" piece of propaganda from the all-too-biased saps at Mining Watch, from which quote:

"[EIA's] are prepared by consultants, paid by the company, and are intended to facilitate the award of mining permits. If such documents did not make largely-optimistic statements, the consultants would no longer be employed by their industrial clients."

The writer of the propaganda piece is, of course, consultant Robert Moran.

If his diatribe did not make largely-pessimistic statements, he would no longer be employed by his pro-poverty and anti-development political clients.
Tim said…
That's why it's important to read both and assess the actual document and its arguments and not just sound bites from an expert on either side.
Hodad said…
as i have said many times
in a small country such as ES a gold mine would be disatrous for the water supply

visitador, you need to get educated about the facts
'had a good chuckle'. what a lame brain you are, pal
umm strong statement, so the consultants from the mining companies are same?
you must be CIA paid stooge,obviously, all on these posts are aware of your misguided attacks and ignorant words, what you went to Yale?

and as anonymous said, 'they will do whatever is in their power to prevent actions that would harm communities'
ES history lesson #545
and you know what power the people can have and have had!

I have been threatned by Pacific Rim, i do not take it lightly
all my Carolina Congressmen have the notes. as does Congreesman Michaud who is behind the audit of the MAC and this mining

this document from Mining Watch only reveals the truth, not the writings of a biased person,
it was well written and exposed the truth and the results of what this mining would do
visitador, common sense, is not common
Anonymous said…
Hodad26, could you please avoid ad-hominem attacks and focus on the facts that represent your point of view. I tend to agree with your overall side of the argument, but your blustery, polemic tone only serves to polarize the argument and doesn't educate anyone. Thank you.
Hodad said…
sorry anonymous,but not really sorry, [read on]
too long an activist, OLD H.I.P.P.I.E.
glad to have been involved with anti nuclear pro-solar movements since 1976, food co-ops, etc.
tried to make a difference

but then, who are you?
when you cannot even identify yourself, you have NO credibility
i have been threatened in regards to this gold mine
i take this seriously as do my many friends in ES, especially the fishermen who have EVERYTHING to lose by polluted water
all these anonymous's, what is YOUR credentials and viability

visistador sounds like confused CIA a.....e
I have had many experiences with them and their drug running out of CA for many many years when I was in Guate and Nicaragua,Viva Los Sandinistas

I know the facts
i am who i am
read about ,pal
so, identify yourself, maybe i will heed what you say, otherwise
keep it to yourself
the facts ARE these gold mines and miners need to stop what they are doing and leave EL SALVADOR
now their rhetoric and spin is all bullshit and lies
read about what gold mines do in Brazil, Borneo, New Guinea, huh?
the technical review is FACT DRIVEN
i will repost on my web site senorpescado
Via La Revolucion!
Viva Rigoberto Menchu for Guatemala, maybe Ortiz for ES
someone that cares at least for others
know what that is?
you arrogant, selfish,greedy,obese xenophobic typical USA person
yes, I am in your face, what about it
I surf, pal, for 43 years
so, again, anonymous, who are you?
i am not here to educate, or polarize the argument
there is no argument
Gold Mining f.... the water ecology of anyplace these operate
that is fact, Jack
oh Tim, your remarks that they have 'more guns than me' maybe me,
us , no
Rusty said…
Ok Hodad, I was writing from work, and was in too much of a hurry to log in. I surf too. Maybe I've seen you out at zonte or sunzal or punta mango or wherever the heck you surf. I run the organization the sister school project, and I'm also a teacher.

We help kids from a canton near Zaragoza get scholarships to attend bachillerato. We also help Escuela Publica Canton El Zaite improve its infrastructure (retaining wall, fence, reforestation project, et cetera). The kids we help don't have fathers and most of their mothers work in the maquilas making $5 a day. They go on to study technical careers to help their families. They also do community service work once a month as part of the condition for receiving a scholarship.

Getting "in people's faces" and acting beligerent doesn't convince anyone to take what you say seriously. It only leads down the road of polarization. True revolution in this day and age is non-violent and democratic. Extremists on both sides hurt the same people they claim to be fighting for.
Hodad said…
thanks Rusty
you are correct, agro does not solve problems
however the system in your country, DOES NOT WORK
it is just quite frustrating sometimes when there are so many injustices
praise to you and God bless for what you do
any help I am able, let me know
i will be glad to take a couple of your guys.girls when i get back and teach them to fish
always keep surfing
in ES since 1983, best waves on the planet!
Anonymous said…
Again Hodad has his facts, as usual, all wrong. The mining community wouldn't dare threaten anyone let alone his burned out, spoiled brat, hypocritical persona. Get a life and a real job! The only morons that can get away with threating anybody are the well financed anti-mining folks who are not held accountable for libel and slander.

Oxfam, Crispaz and their sponsored cronies can take machetes to equipment, dump galons of oil and diesel on the ground, threaten the lives of guys just out to earn a buck for their families, all on private property with the police standing by and the PDDH making sure the police DON'T protect the rights of the company on private property and nobody says a thing. To keep from seeing these morons resort to violence the company tucked tail and pulled out. Sounds pretty threatening to me. How would Hodad feel if somebody took a machete to his favorite board, dumped oil all over his favorite beach and told him they didn't want burned out hippie gringos in El Salvador any longer?

I would be willing to guess that he would pout and yell and say his rights were violated.

The problem with these hate/fear mongers (they are more anarchists than activists) is that they are in it for the money not social change. They think like the Stalins, Hitlers, Saddam Husseins, Castros and Kim Jong Il's. Anytime you try to engage these people in dialogue they have to act all ill mannered and shout you down and tell you that the only viewpoint that counts is theirs. Doesn't sound to me like they are the reasonable people they have invented in their own minds.

I for one would like to see proof, hard proof, and not the delusions of the threats against Hodad. Until then he needs to shut his trap and quit libeling people and companies that have far more to be upset about. I also think Hodad's citizenship/residency should be rescinded, send him and all the terrorists to their buddies in the middle east. We don't need em or want em in this hemisphere. Why doesn't he go over there and stop the oil drilling in Iran? I am sure they would appreciate his form of dissent there!