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Francisco Pineda, chair of the Environmental Committee of Cabanas (CAC) has to go everywhere with his personal bodyguards in El Salvador.
lHe has become internationally renowned for his struggle against mining in Cabanas, for which he won the Goldman Prize in 2011 and he even shook hands with President Barack Obama in San Francisco when he received the prize.
Despite the security issues, Francisco frequently visits the villages of Cabanas near “El Dorado”, name given by Canadian mining corporation Pacific Rim to the gold extraction Project which is currently paralyzed because of the longstanding and painful struggle of Francisco, for which he has become a Central American leader of the resistance and defense of territories, which are under threat by gold extraction.
As a result of the resistance to Pacific Rim, Francisco has seen many colleagues die in the struggle. People like Ramiro Rivera (killed in December of 2009) and his brother Marcelo; Dora Resinos, murdered while pregnant when she was coming back home carrying her two-year old son, who was injured in the incident, and Juan Francisco Durán Ayala.
Always in the company of his body guards, Francisco comforts the families of the victims, he visits Congress, he attended the international human rights mission organized by Friends of the Earth International and the Transnational Institute (TNI) based in Amsterdam, where he explained what has been the key to stop Pacific Rim. He told Real World Radio that metallic mining cannot be separated from the intensive use of water, which is essential for life in the rural areas.
Therefore, the peasants, the rural workers and other community residents do not hesitate: ‘we need Pacific Rim out of here’.
Photo: Pineda and the chair of Friends of the Earth International, Jagoda Munic, express solidarity with the communities of San José del Golfo, Guatemala. Víctor Barro (FoE Spain)
La oposición a la minería debe entenderse como la lucha por los derechos que esa actividad no respeta, pues “cada derecho que se le otorga a una empresa, es un derecho que se le resta a una comunidad”, asegura el coordinador del Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina (OCMAL), César Padilla.
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