Tuesday, April 12, 2011

El Salvador 1, Canada 0

The always great Tim's El Salvador Blog brings us news of an environmental prize won by one of its citizens for standing up to unwanted mining development. Here come a couple of excerpts, click through for lots more including an English language video that shows Francisco Pineda in action.

Francisco Pineda, a leader in the anti-mining movement in Cabañas, was named yesterday one of the 2011 recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize. The Goldman Prize annually honors grassroots environmental heroes from six continents. The Prize "recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk." Each winner receives a cash award of $150,000


Since 2004, Pineda's environmental organizing has included opposition to the gold mining planned by Pacific Rim. Pineda and his colleagues have been educating the people of Cabañas by going door-to-door and organizing community meetings. Since 2004, the movement has grown to include 26 communities and more than 450 members. Pineda helped establish the National Anti-Mining Board and with his coalition organized a series of local and national demonstrations to bring more attention to the issue.

Meanwhile, this section of the Goldman Prize citation gives you guys up there an idea of what happens down this way when Canadian mining companies don't get their own way and aren't allowed to trample over a supine local population:

"....supporters of the Cabañas mine suspected to have ties to Pacific Rim retaliated with threats and deadly attacks. In 2009, three of Pineda’s colleagues were assassinated. One close colleague was killed while under police protection. A month later, a group of assassins set out to kill another member of the environmental committee, but when they did not find him in his house they murdered his pregnant wife instead. Another anti-mining activist was kidnapped and his tortured body was found in a well. Today, Pineda lives with 24-hour police protection.  He has vowed to continue his struggle no matter the consequences."

Mining should be encouraged where people accept it. It doesn't have the God-given right to move in on any given region and if people don't want it then walk away, Canada. Don't murder them.