After a 12-year struggle, Salvadoran lawmakers voted to ban mining for metals.
The people of El Salvador and their international allies against irresponsible mining are celebrating a historic victory. After a long battle against global mining companies that were determined to plunder the country’s natural resources for short-term profits, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly has voted to ban all metal mining projects.
The new law is aimed at protecting the Central American nation’s environment and natural resources. Approved on March 29 with the support of 69 lawmakers from multiple parties (out of a total of 84), the law blocks all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals, whether in open pits or underground. It also prohibits the use of toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.
In the lead-up to the vote, communities in the town of Cinquera had rejected mining through a local referendum and the Catholic Church of El Salvador had called for massive participation in a public protest to demand legislators to start discussions on the prohibition of mining. When the protest arrived at the legislative assembly, on March 9, they were greeted by a multi-party commission that committed to start discussions immediately and have legislation ready before the Easter holidays.
Read more on the website of the Institute for Policy Studies