Pacific Rim Mining held its annual general meeting in downtown Vancouver Saturday - attended by a few directors and more than a dozen protesters.
Most of the demonstrators were from the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) in the US Pacific Northwest. They wore tags describing themselves as shareholders in democracy, human rights, access to clean water and "our future."
Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining is suing the people of El Salvador after the government refused to allow it to mine using methods that would poison El Salvador's rivers. The suit for millions in "lost profits" has been filed under the Central American Free Trade Agreement. CISPES is calling on the company's directors to drop the suit.
The company has been telling their shareholders that they are hopeful of a “resolution” with the Salvadoran government. However, after the 2009 elections, El Salvador finally has a democratic government that is responding to the people’s demands. On Saturday, the President of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes reiterated his public commitment: “I will not authorize any mining exploration or exploitation project” and he welcomed the process underway in the Legislative Assembly to pass a national ban on metallic mining.
El Salvador is standing strong in the face of violent attacks against rural communities that oppose the mines and the open threat of the World Bank lawsuit. CISPES needs you to stand in solidarity with these struggles against corporate extortion, neocolonialism, and environmental racism in Latin America today!
Two CISPES representatives were allowed into the meeting, then ejected after they tried to speak.
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