Victimizer Wants to Punish the Victim
Having completed the ninety days waiting period, the C
The mining company announced its decision to sue the country at the beginning of December of 2008, under CAFTA regulations. During the following three months, the government of
However, instead of a favorable response,
In the words of the German economist Franz Hinkelammert,
We shall see. The mining company came to this country and dried up the water sources in San Isidro, caused economic losses in Guacotecti, generated conflicts among the community in Sensuntepeque, corrupted mayors and legislators, violated environmental law, offended religious authorities, spread misleading information, etc.
Therefore, the communities of Cabañas, the Catholic Church, and the Salvadoran government are the ones who, as victims, prosecute the mining company, the victimizer. But no. It is Pacific Rim that is presented as the one whose “rights have been violated” and demands millions of dollars in compensation before the corporate tribunal, who resolution is easy to foresee, given that entities such as ICSID only respond to interests of corporate transnational companies.
The Archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor José Luis Escobar Alas, rightly insists that the mining company only received exploration permits and that extraction licenses are not automatic.
However, outside of legal arguments,
Reject the mining company’s demand and, at the same time, sue the company for causing ecological, economic, social and institutional damages, it a matter of national interest. The country, citizens and the government should close ranks.
The case should also serve to reactivate the struggle against CAFTA. If it is not repealed or, at the least, some of its most damaging aspects are not modified, this trade agreement will make us subject to transnational companies that damage the ecosystem, productivity, and life.
- Communications Staff of the National Working Group against Metallic Mineral Mining
*Photo from mimundo.org/Oxfam America.
- Translated and posted by Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator