Salvadoran civil society, faith-based groups and authorities have strongly expressed their opposition to the development of an open pit metallic mining industry in their country. The rejection results from an increased awareness of the serious social, environmental and economic risks this industry could imply for the country. Two mining corporations, Pacific Rim and Commerce Group, have sued El Salvador under CAFTA provisions, which have increased the pressure on the Salvadoran government and its population. The unbalanced power of extractive industries is not only a matter of El Salvador, but extends throughout all the Americas, including the United States. Communities across the continent are looking at further working together to raise their voice and defend their rights to be consulted on policies and practices that affect their lives.
In this Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) workshop, a representative from the National Roundtable on Mining in El Salvador –La Mesa- together with a representative from the US grassroots movement, Manuel Perez- Rocha, from IPS and Sofia Vergara, from Oxfam America will share experiences and discuss with the audiences ways to further advance an already emerging continental grassroots movement that could bring further balance to the forces of power at play.
Speakers: Alexa Smith, Presbyterian Church (USA); Carolina Ascencio, La Mesa; Manuel Perez-Rocha, IPS; Moderator/translator: Sofia Vergara, OXFAM America
EAD is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. EAD‘s goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen Christian voice and mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.