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After a long process of struggle, denunciation, mobilization and awareness-raising by different environmental, peasant and Christian sectors of El Salvador, on March 21st, the Environment and Climate Change Committee of the House of Representatives of El Salvador unanimously passed a bill to ban metal mining.
The chair of the Center of Appropriate Technologies (CESTA) and member of Friends of the Earth El Salvador, Ricardo Navarro, believes that this puts his country on the “final stretch” towards banning metal mining for good, the main threat to territories and water basins.
Navarro highlighted the role played by church authorities, who demanded a regulation to safeguard territories from mining. Also, the Catholic Church and other Christian creeds gathered 30 thousand signatures in favor of the ban.
Meanwhile, the Movement of Victims of Mining and Megaprojects (MOVIAC El Salvador) celebrated the legislative decision and urged its passage and implementation by the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch, led by Salvador Sánchez Cerén, “in a public act”.
But they warn about the potential reaction of mining companies: “We call our constituents throughout the country to remain alert to mobilize in support of the completion of this process of struggle, and ensure the definitive ban to metal mining in the country”, stated MOVIAC.
Through a press release, Canadian company Oceana Gold has made clear its intentions to exert pressure on representatives after seeing their gold extraction project in Cabañas municipality under threat.
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