Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Company promoters “contaminate” communities in El Salvador

The Canadian mining company Pacific Rim, creates social tensions in the communities they operate. In addition to the environmental pollution that comes from the mining, their way of entering the communities creates “social pollution”. The company hires people from the communities to work as promoters for the mining projects. The promoters are then working on behalf of the mining company, and they create tensions in their effort to convince the other locals to support the mining. The use of promoters creates divisions across communities and families and tears down earlier community bonds.

Even if the consequences of mining are often unknown and uncertain for the local people, many have been informed because of reports from similar projects in neighbouring countries and neighbouring areas. The communities are now divided between those who benefit from the mining, and those who oppose it.

A man from the community of Trinidad in El Salvador tells that life was great before Pacific Rim arrived. Nowadays, he does not have contact with neither his father nor his grandparents. His father is working as a promoter for Pacific Rim and is motivated by money and free rides into the town. On the other hand, his grandparents on the mother side are opposed to the mining. The promoters are not only promoting the mining business with conventional methods, but threats and physical attacks have also been used in tearing down the opposing community members. Good friendships have been destroyed and the people blame the Pacific Rim. Recently, and 18-year-old boy committed suicide after being thrown out of his home by the family. The reason was that he joined an environmental group working against Pacific Rim.

Here is the link to the complete article from the Dominion


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