In El Salvador, an environmental activist has been killed after speaking out against a mining project in a northern region. Juan Francisco Duran Ayala is the latest in a string of activists to be killed after denouncing the Canadian gold mining company, Pacific Rim, in its efforts to mine the area of Cabañas. A community youth radio station, Radio Victoria, has also received repeated death threats for covering the story. Lisa Fuller represents the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador.
Lisa Fuller: “Obviously, Pacific Rim, the gold mining company, has a stake in the matter, but also this area is controlled by the right wing, and the local mayors have been promoting the mining project, as well. And community members say that the local mayors have ties to organized crime and that they, in fact, are part of this campaign of violent attacks to destroy the opposition. Furthermore, the attorney general is contributing to this wave of violence by refusing to investigate who is behind these attacks against the social movement in Cabañas.”
Residents fear cyanide used to extract gold in the area could contaminate the local water supply and farmland.