Today a Pacific Rim Mining Company subsidiary began arbitration proceedings under CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) against the Salvadoran government. The company claims that is has operated "in full compliance with Salvadoran law, including the country's environmental, mining and foreign investment laws, and have met or exceeded all applicable standards while conducting business in El Salvador." In a press release, Pacific Rim stated its intention to seek damages in the "hundreds of millions of dollars from the [Salvadoran] government" for its loss of potential profits.
Pacific Rim officials state that their company has invested over $77 million in their mining projects. The company states that the Salvadoran government has violated international and Salvadoran law by failing to issue the company mining extraction permits. In a statement included in the press release, Tom Shrake, Manager and CEO of Pacific Rim, tried to appeal to those with concerns regarding the effects of mining on human rights, environmental rights, and the Salvadoran economy. "It is not just the rights of Pacific Rim that are being compromised, but the rights of all Salvadorans and future foreign investors," he lamented, claiming that Salvadorans were losing out on jobs and the privilege of being one of the first countries in the Americas to hold a new standard in environmentally-friendly mining projects.
To read the press release, click here. To read a copy of the filing, click here.
- Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator