Tuesday, March 23, 2010

International Call in Day Against Pacific Rim March 24, 2010

From cispes


Que viva Romero!


Special Call-In Day TODAY
National Monseñor Romero Day: March 24, 2010

El Salvador’s mining resistance
and tell Pacific Rim Mining to get out of

Today is National Romero Day in El Salvador, the very first official
government recognition of the pueblo’s revered martyr for social justice –
Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the archbishop of El Salvador.
While conducting mass on March 24, 1980, he was assassinated by State-linked
paramilitary forces for openly denouncing and defying the U.S.-sponsored
Salvadoran government’s bloody war on the poor. Monseñor Romero
believed, “If they kill me, I will be reborn in the Salvadoran of the
people.” Thirty years later, Romero continues to live on in the fighting
spirit of the Salvadoran people, who have advanced the cause of social
justice in the face of U.S. intervention and destructive economic
policies, like the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
imposed by the Washington Consensus and El Salvador’s right wing.

Today, transnational companies are clamoring to extract El Salvador’s
gold, which would bring severe environmental, social and economic
consequences for rural communities. Since 2005, community organizing
efforts have successfully blocked Pacific Rim Mining Corporation’s
application for gold mining permits in the department of Cabañas, El
Salvador. In
response to this effective resistance, death threats, kidnapping attempts
and assassinations against activists who oppose mining continue.
Pacific Rim has retaliated by filing a $77 million dollar lawsuit against
El Salvador for denying gold mining permits, using CAFTA’s investor
protections provisions. The present-day struggle against mining addresses
the very same issues – human rights, land and self-determination –
as the popular struggle that drew violent repression from the Salvadoran
State during the Civil War from 1980-1992, which robbed the lives of
Monseñor Romero and 70,000 Salvadorans.

Take Action Today! In honor of National Romero Day, call Thomas Shrake,
President and CEO of Pacific Rim Mining and tell him that the company has
the moral responsibility to leave Cabañas immediately. To speak with Mr.
Shrake at the Reno, NV office, dial 1-(775) 852-5888. (Sample script

Background: On December 20, vice-president of the Environmental Committee
of Cabañas, Ramiro Rivera, was gunned down in front of his daughter,
despite being under 24-hour police protection. On December 26, Dora
“Alicia” Sorto Recinos was shot to death as she was walking home from the
river; she was eight months pregnant. Both were leaders in the
Environmental Committee of Cabañas, which has been extremely active in
educating and mobilizing the local community against gold mining. In June,
anti-mining activist Marcelo Rivera (no relation to Ramiro) was found
tortured and murdered in an empty well in San Isidro, Cabañas, after his
disappearance eleven days prior.

Pacific Rim has denied any connection between its proposed mining projects
and the recent assassinations, chalking the violence up to common crimes
or a family feud. According to recent declaration by over 30 community
organizations and churches in El Salvador, “Crimes like this did not
happen in Cabañas before the arrival of Pacific Rim.”

It’s time for Pacific Rim to heed the message of the Salvadoran and
international communities: drop the lawsuit and withdraw from Cabañas!

TAKE ACTION! Call Thomas Shrake, President and CEO of Pacific Rim Mining
TODAY (see sample script below). Dial 1-(775) 852-5888 and ask to speak
with Mr. Shrake.


“Hello. I have been following Pacific Rim’s proposed mines in El Salvador
and am extremely disturbed by the news of assassinated community members in
Trinidad, all of whom were part of local groups organizing against mining
since 2005. Today, El Salvador is celebrating National Monseñor Romero
Day to commemorate the life of this human rights martyr. Just as
Monseñor Romero gave his life to the struggle for land and
self-determination in El Salvador, Marcelo Rivera, Ramiro Rivera and Dora
Alicia Sorto Recinos have also given their lives to this struggle. In the
name of these martyrs for social and economic justice, I call on you, as
the CEO and President, and on Pacific Rim’s Board of Directors to make the
moral decision to:

Immediately withdraw from Cabañas and cease all efforts to mine gold from
the El Dorado site. The company applied for mining permits and was
rejected by the Salvadoran people and government. Pacific Rim
has no business remaining in Cabañas.

Immediately withdraw its lawsuit against the government of El Salvador.
It is disgraceful for a company to sue an impoverished nation like El
Salvador, especially when the Salvadoran people and government have every
right to prevent cyanide gold extraction from destroying their lands and
their communities.

Cooperate fully with the official investigations surrounding the murders
of Alicia Sorto Recinos, Ramiro Rivera and Marcelo Rivera, providing full
disclosure on all the people the company has contracted in the region and
any other monetary transactions it has conducted among community members,
organizations and local government officials. Violence is tearing apart
Cabañas, and Pacific Rim has every obligation to offer its full support to
bring to justice the perpetrators of these murdered community members, all
of whom have openly opposed gold mining in the area.

Thank you.”

Visit the CISPES website for the latest
news and information

Watch the Real
News Network video here on Pacific Rim’s
multi-million dollar CAFTA suit

Watch the Democracy
Now! interview with CISPES Executive Director, Alexis Stoumbelis

Check out recent articles by Jason Wallach and Hector
Berríos on Upside Down World

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© 2008 CISPES - The Committee in Solidarity with the
People of El Salvador

CISPES National Office | ph.
202-521-2510 | 1525
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