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El Salvador Makes History: First Nation to Ban Metal Mining

By: 
Ricardo Navarro and Sam Cossar

El Salvador made history last week by becoming the first country ever to ban metal mining.

The success of this decades long struggle is proof that people can take on corporate interests and win.

This is the story of how the people of El Salvador took on mining giants.

Mining has a dark history in El Salvador. Years of unregulated, pro-investor policies coupled with rapid industrialization has led to the widespread contamination of rivers and surface water, poisoning people and destroying farm lands.

A Huge Mining Conglomerate Wanted to Poison This Country’s Water. After a Long Fight, They’ve Finally Lost.

By: 
Pedro Cabezas

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.

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