The fate of millions of Salvadoran people is being debated behind doors at the World Bank’s ICSID – a tribunal that few know exist — on September 15, ironically El Salvador’s independence anniversary day.
Join the Institute for Policy Studies’ Global Economy Project, International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador, Oxfam, the Washington Ethical Society, Sisters of Mercy – Institute Justice Team, the Center for International Environmental Law, the SHARE Foundation, the AFL CIO, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Casa de Maryland, Committe In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES ), Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Public Citizen, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters on the Day of Independence for El Salvador to protest at the World Bank Group’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) hearing of this lawsuit against the Salvadoran people!
At issue is whether the government and people of El Salvador should be punished for not allowing a foreign corporation to operate a mining project that threatens to poison the country’s drinking supply.
OceanaGold/Pacific Rim Mining Corporation is suing the government of El Salvador for over $300 million because El Salvador is refusing to let it mine gold.
The people of El Salvador are saying “yes to life and no to mining.” Many refused to sell their land to Pacific Rim, a requirement for a mining license in El Salvador. At least four anti-mining community members were slain under suspicious circumstances as the conflict over mining deepened.
Yet, the saga continues. Because of trade and investment laws that the U.S. has championed in recent decades, corporations can sue governments when corporations feel their future profits are being threatened by government actions. Today they are doing this in the World Bank Group’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
This case exemplifies the perils of the massive Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) being negotiated by the United States with other counties of the Americas, Asia and Oceania. and what is wrong with “investor-state dispute settlement” mechanisms in such agreements. Let’s put an end to these egregious/capricious lawsuits that are increasingly biased in favor of corporate investors and against public interest.
On September 15, Salvadorans, U.S. and other countries’ allies will gather outside the World Bank’s tribunal to ask: who is the real criminal in this case? Is it El Salvador or is it the corporation? Shouldn’t it be the corporation that is required to compensate for the environmental and human havoc caused by its exploration for gold?
Join us to protest this lawsuit against the Salvadoran people! There will be music and pantomime (program to follow). We will gather 12 noon in Edward R Murrow Park in front of the World Bank on H Street, between 18th and 19th Streets, NW. Also join us for pre-protest leafleting the area. Optional times are 8, 9, 10, and 11am.