2009- Central American environmentalists join forces against extractive projects

The relationship between the Salvadoran mining resistance movement and similar actors in the region has existed and developed from the outset. For example, in 2009 Guatemalan and Salvadoran groups participated in joint protests against the Cerro Blanco mine (Yagenova et al, 2012). According to Spalding (2014), when mining companies first began to appear in El Salvador, "community activists were uncertain about how to respond about the prospect of mines opening in their region". However, activists from Honduras played an important role in sharing their experiences and convincing their Salvadoran colleagues of the importance of being skeptical about promises of development. They also assisted in arranging visits to the Siria Valley to witness directly communities affected by healths complaints derived from the nearby mine. Spalding argues that "[i]nteractions between Honduran, Salvadoran, and, subsequently, Guatemalan anti-mining coalitions helped identify commonalities and shared vulnerabilities" (ibid). The free flow of capital for investment in mining across borders, as well as the cross border environmental impacts of mining on shared watercourses also encouraged a shared analysis in civil society organizations in Central America. In April 2017, NGOs from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua started an interchange project to exchange experiences about defending the environment against raw material extractive projects.

Political Action Category / Categoría de Acción Política: 
Awareness/Coalition Building
Reference / Referencia: 

El País, Ambientalistas de Centroamérica unen esfuerzos contra proyectos de extracción, 27 April 2017, online: https://www.elpais.cr/2017/04/27/ambientalistas-de-centroamerica-unen-es...

Rose Spalding, "After CAFTA: Anti-Mining Movements, Investment Disputes, and New Organizational Territory". In Contesting Trade in Central America: Market Reforms and Resistance (Austin: University of Texas Press), date 2014.

Simona Violetta Yagenova (coord.), “La industria extractiva en Guatemala: políticas públicas, derechos humanos y procesos de resistencia popular en el período 2003-2011”, 2012, Flacso Guatemala.

Accessed on date / Fecha de consulta: 
4 August 2020