International Week of Action to Free Santa Marta 5 Mobilizes Worldwide Solidarity
Thanks to allies in countries around the world, the recent International Week of Action to Demand Freedom for the Santa Marta Water Defenders and to Defend El Salvador's Mining Prohibition was a great success. Starting on Earth Day, protests were held from El Salvador to Washington, DC to the Philippines. Meanwhile, allies around the world wrote to their governmental representatives, and spread information and demonstrations of solidarity through social media. See photos and videos of some of the beautiful actions below!
The Week of Action was an important step in a long campaign to raise international awareness and pressure the Salvadoran government to release the Santa Marta 5 by helping to keep this this grave injustice in the news in El Salvador, generating coverage in the Diario CoLatino, Prensa Latina, and elsewhere, and showing the community of Santa Marta that they are not alone.
Building on the Week of Action, now is the time to increase pressure on governments around the world to take action to help secure their release. If you are in the United States, you can send an email today to your Representative and Senators in Congress calling on them to speak out against these unjustified arrests! Click here to take a quick online action.
¡Santa Marta no está sola! ¡Libertad para los 5!
On Earth Day, water defenders from Guatemala and El Salvador met in the middle of Güija Lake for the third "Aquatic March against Mining" to demand the State respect the human rights to water, life, and territory. They also denounced the Cerro Blanco mining project and demanded the freedom of 5 community leaders from Santa Marta. Click here to see more photos.
Kicking off the International Week of Action, the United Church of Canada and Mining Watch Canada organized a fantastic webinar (watch it here) and soon after, released a powerful statement signed by 38 organizations calling on the Canadian government to take action. Read the letter & press release here.
More than a hundred youth leaders from various community-based organizations, partner schools & universities, and Indigenous Peoples in the Sites of Struggles (SOS) of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) mobilized in celebration of Earth Day in Baguio City. The youth group extended their support to the five detained water defenders. Click here to see their solidarity video.
San Francisco, CA
Our partners at the SHARE Foundation and the Migration Studies program at the University of San Francisco welcomed Karla Rivas, a Honduran land defender, who shared how extractive industries force people to flee from their homes and also how communities are organizing towards a self-sustaining future. Participants also wanted to show solidarity with Santa Marta and to declare: Water is Life! Click here to see their solidarity video.
On April 27, CISPES joined Salvadoran community leaders, allies from the Institute for Policy Studies and the Washington Ethical Society who have helped to spearhead solidarity with the anti-mining struggle for nearly 15 years, and long-time faith and solidarity compas for spirited rally in front of the Salvadoran Embassy to expose the outrageous nature of these arrests and to call on the government to free the 5! Click here to see live video from the protest.