Juan Francisco Durán Ayala, of the Cabañas Environmental Committee (CAC), was killed on June 4th and his body wasn’t identified until 10 days after his disappearance. He is the fourth environmental activist killed in Cabañas. The last time he was seen by fellow environmental activists was on June 2nd, distributing fliers against metallic mining in Ilobasco in preparation for a public consultation about the mining sector taking place nearby.
How many times will we have to repeat it? Metallic mining projects are a serious threat to human life, not only because of the environmental impacts they provoke, but also because of the social destabilization they create in communities. The declarations made by the Director of Investigations of the National Civilian Police, Howard Cotto, in 2009 are public knowledge. Sotto signaled that the spiral of killings and threats against defenders of environmental and human rights in Cabañas are directly linked to the presence of mining projects and mining companies in the region.
This is the fourth killing of activists in the fight against mining. Nearly two years ago, Marcelo Rivera, community leader who organized resistance to mining in Cabañas, was killed. To this day, investigations into this brutal murder haven’t produced the capture of the intellectual authors. Nor have the investigations into the murders of two other anti-mining activists, Dora Alicia Sorto and Ramiro Rivera. In addition, threats against journalists at Radio Victoria continue without any concrete action taken by authorities. The justice system in this country is failing, and we will not stop repeating this!
We demand that government authorities, the Attorney General and the National Civilian Police fulfill their mandate and assure that all victims of metallic mining have access to justice. We demand thorough and exhaustive investigation and that the material and intellectual authors of these killings be brought to justice. We further demand that the authorities take into account testimony that can link local public officials in the department of Cabañas to these murders.
We stand with our compañeros of the Cabañas Environmental Committee and we assure those that are behind this campaign of terror that we will notstop in our struggle to prevent mining in El Salvador or in our conviction to get mining companies out of our communities.
No to metallic mining in El Salvador!
Thursday June 16, 2011
National Working Group Against Metallic Mining: www.esnomineria.blogspot.com
Network of Latin American Youth Activists: www.niunaminamas.blogspot.com