[video] El Salvador: Video report on recent killing of an anti-mining activist, death threats & violence against others

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Company response
20 September 2009

Pacific Rim response to report “Gold, impunity, violence in El Salvador”

Author: Tom Shrake, President & CEO, Pacific Rim Mining

Pacific Rim is saddened and outraged by the horrible death of Marcelo Rivera. The community of San Isidro has lost a leader and a teacher... Let us be very clear, the company has no knowledge of the crime... As to the video...we offer the following comments and corrections to information and misinformation as reported in the video...The video shows clips of people with skin disorders in the vicinity of one of the Honduran operations which opposition groups continually report to be related to the mine itself. The skin rashes were independently investigated by health institutions. A copy of their report is attached.

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Article
13 August 2009

[video & transcript] Gold, impunity, violence in El Salvador

Author: The Real News Network

A 37-year-old teacher [Marcelo Rivera], community center founder, and anti-mining activist is found tortured and assassinated in Northern El Salvador [on June 18]. Authorities, despite all evidence...attribute the death to common gang violence. In the following weeks, other critics of mining are victims of death threats, attempted kidnappings and shootings. Communities... place the blame on the presence of Pacific Rim...Activists in El Salvador have come to oppose mining for a variety of reasons, including the lack of democracy in the process, the belief that the 2 percent royalties...is not sufficient, fear of contamination from the liberation of heavy metals...and the use of cyanide...as well as the potential for loss of water access...in 2008, exploratory drilling in Cabañas left numerous community wells without water...The company, to its credit, responded immediately... accepting full responsibility and trucking in barrels of water. But in El Salvador... affected communities had now seen firsthand evidence about the vulnerability of their water supply and mining's potential for disaster... Pacific Rim did not respond to repeated interview requests from The Real News, but it should be noted that there's no evidence that the company either ordered or advocated the crimes in question. However, activists in Cabañas claim that Pacific Rim...shower money on influential community members, politicians, and local elites...This, they say, creates a system of incentives that generates violent conflicts of interest inside poor communities.

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Article
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Author: Dr Elmer Lopez Lutz, Coordinador Brigada Dermatologica [Honduras]

...el grupo de autores de este trabajo, consideramos interesante realizar una Brigada Dermatológica, con el objeto de determinar la posible relación entre las dermatosis de los pacientes de estas comunidades a una eventual contaminación por parte de la mina [San Martín, de Entre Mares (parte de Goldcorp)]...De las enfermedades de la piel encontradas en los pacientes provenientes de las diferentes comunidades del valle de Siria un 45.9% son ocasionadas por insectos o agentes infecciosos...El resto de las enfermedades cutáneas encontradas correspondieron a dermatosis de frecuente diagnostico...por lo que concluimos que no existe ninguna enfermedad cutánea que pudiera estar relacionada a una posible contaminación procedente de la mina...

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