After much anticipation and campaigning by El Salvador’s social movement, anti-mining activists celebrated Monday after FMLN presidential candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén committed to prevent the implementation of metallic mining under his administration. “The threat of metal extraction is a threat to life. Everyone says that El Salvador has wealth under its soil, that it has basins of gold [and] basins of silver, but what does it mean if we allow that to be extracted? It will destroy our lives,” said Cerén.
Marcos Gálvez of the Roundtable Against Metalic Mining expressed his satisfaction with the candidate’s remarks: “The Roundtable has struggled for several years to protect the environment against the destruction caused by mining companies, so we celebrate the fact that the FMLN’s presidential ticket has committed publicly…We as the Roundtable hope that under this new government a law is approved that prohibits mining exploration and exploitation.”
Cerén’s position was also welcomed by the international solidarity community, which has worked over the last few years to accompany the anti-mining movement in El Salvador in the fact of violence, intimidation and legal attacks from multinational mining companies against threatened communities and the Salvadoran state itself.
For more, read this translation of an article published Monday in El Salvador’s La Prensa Gráfica, posted on StopESmining.org, in which the FMLN presidential candidate also dismisses recent incendiary statements made against him by former US Senator and current Heritage Foundation president Jim Demint. Other high-profile conservatives voices from the US have also joined Demint against the FMLN, including notorious former Reagan and Bush administration official Otto Reich, in his work as a lobbyist for Canadian mining company Pacific Rim.