Farmer from El Salvador awarded Goldman Environmental Prize for his fight to stop Pacific Rim's gold mine from "destroying" water resources, livelihoods - includes video clip

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Author: El Faro [El Salvador]

Su lucha contra la minera Pacific Rim le valió uno de los más relevantes galardones a nivel mundial al salvadoreño Francisco Pineda: el Goldman Prize...[E]l agricultor salvadoreño…[es el] fundador del Comité Ambiental de Cabañas, un organismo ciudadano que le opuso fiera resistencia a la compañía minera Pacific Rim…Pineda…comenzó a denunciar públicamente el potencial de desastre que se cernía sobre las comunidades cercanas al proyecto minero. El gran temor era que Pacific Rim contaminara con cianuro el agua…La tensión subió al máximo en 2009, cuando tres activistas contra la minería fueron asesinados..."Viviendo bajo la constante amenaza del asesinato, valientemente lideró un movimiento ciudadano que impidió a la minera la destrucción de los recursos hídricos de El Salvador y la viabilidad de las comunidades rurales en todo El Salvador", resume Goldman la labor de Pineda… Ahora, Pacific Rim demanda al gobierno salvadoreño por 100 millones de dólares, acusándolo de haber violado el Tratado de Libre Comercio entre Centroamérica, República Dominicana y Estados Unidos (CAFTA).

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1 April 2011

The Goldman Environmental Prize: Francisco Pineda, El Salvador

Author: The Goldman Environmental Prize

Living under the constant threat of assassination, Francisco Pineda courageously led a citizens’ movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources and the livelihoods of rural communities throughout the country...In 2002, Canadian mining giant Pacific Rim began the exploration phase for a gold and silver mine in Cabañas...Pineda...and his neighbors...set in motion a people’s movement that would succeed in halting the mine, but would have deadly consequences for many involved...In 2009, three of Pineda’s colleagues were assassinated...Due in large part to Pineda’s leadership, the Salvadoran government has not granted Pacific Rim the necessary extraction permit...[However] Pacific Rim has initiated a $100 million lawsuit under CAFTA claiming that El Salvador is in violation of the agreement for halting the company’s plans. This lawsuit calls into question the sovereignty of individual nations that are party to agreements like CAFTA and their rights to decide for themselves how to administer development projects. [Includes video clip on Pineda’s story]

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