Seattle CISPES is excited to share the news of an important victory in one of the campaigns that we’ve been involved with for many years — supporting anti-mining activists in El Salvador and fighting back against an unjust lawsuit. We’re using this occasion to ask for your support and we also want to give you an update about our current work.
Here’s what our former coordinator Cameron Herrington had to say about this week’s victory:
Seven years ago, when I worked for Seattle CISPES, we fought against a Canadian gold mining company called Pacific Rim that wanted to open a mine in El Salvador. Pacific Rim sued the government of El Salvador for $250 million under the rules of the Central American Free Trade Agreement after El Salvador denied the company a mining permit based on environmental and public health concerns.
This week, after seven years of opaque legal process in a secretive World Bank tribunal, the lawsuit was unanimously thrown out. Today I’m thinking of the heroic Salvadoran environmental justice activists who were murdered as a result of their outspoken opposition to gold mining: Juan Francisco Duran Ayala, Gustavo Marcelo Rivera Moreno, Ramiro Rivera Gomez, Dora Alicia Recinos Sorto. I’m also thinking of all my friends and compañer@s at CISPES — in Seattle and around the country — who worked to support the Salvadoran people’s struggle for sovereignty and a healthy environment.
Here’s a 2010 video from when Seattle CISPES activists went to protest outside of Pacific Rim’s headquarters in Vancouver, BC. At the time we were also working to support trade reform legislation that would have prevented foreign companies like Pacific Rim from suing governments that sought to protect their people from environmental and health disasters.
As we enter our 36th year as an organization, Seattle CISPES is now all volunteer-run but still going strong. In June we hosted a successful tour visit from Moisés Gómez, a leader of the Jesuit Migration Network El Salvador, and met with a number of our elected officials, including Congressman Adam Smith. Over the summer, five Seattle CISPES activists went to El Salvador to learn about the migrant crisis in Central America, and upon return they coordinated several events to raise awareness about border militarization. Most recently we sent two members to the border in Arizona to participate in a national mobilization. We’re also excited to continue working with and supporting local partners like the NW Detention Center Resistance as well as sponsoring events for the upcoming Caravan Against Repression in Mexico.
In order for Seattle CISPES to keep up the fight we need you to support this amazing solidarity work. Click on the donate button below:
or send a check to the address listed on our website.
We are also looking for new members and volunteers so feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— The Seattle CISPES core team (Burke, Eddie, Helena, Jenny, Jed and Leigh)
PS: As a special treat here’s a picture of the spoof labels Seattle CISPES created for a number of anti-Pacific Rim actions we organized: