FMLN Representative Estela Hernández and grassroots leader Walberto Gallegos from the Mangrove Association visited Washington DC in May to discuss the $270 million dollar investment proposed for the coastal region of their country through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) (FOMELINIO II). Read more about their visit here.
In light of her recent visit, FMLN Representative Estela Hernández participated in a press briefing last week along with FMLN Representative Lourdes Palacios, who also visited Washington with Oxfam. The blog post below is a translation of an articled published by the FMLN on June 13th.
Article published by the FMLN on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Original Spanish-language version
FMLN Parliamentary Group Representatives recently visited the United States in order to hold meetings with congress members and high-ranking officials. Their purpose was to make it clear that projects that threaten communities or the environment will not be permitted in El Salvador.
This morning Estela Hernández and Lourdes Palacios informed the press of the results of these meetings: that so far U.S. congress members have been receptive to guaranteeing the sustainable development of communities under FOMILENIO II and checking all attempts at metal mining in El Salvador.
Due to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) rejection of the arguments presented by the Canadian company Pacific Rim—the Center did not agree that the company was protected by CAFTA—El Salvador’s rejection of metal mining has once again been reaffirmed. Representative Palacios said that so far there is strong support in favor of El Salvador.
Palacios communicated that during her trip she held a meeting with five Democratic Congresspersons, among them Raúl Grijalva of Arizona. Grijalva expressed his support of the position of the Salvadoran communities that reject mining exploitation.
The U.S. Congressman would visit the Cabañas region in coming months. The Canadian company intended to carry out its exploitation in this zone and instead confronted a very organized community. However, this resistance has cost lives and the threats to and persecution of the environmental leaders and local communicators who reject the presence of the transnational.
FMLN is a party in favor of the needs and respect of life and community support. Representative Palacios reiterated the rejection of mining that was expressed in these meetings—meetings that also included U.S. Department of State representatives.
For her part, Representative Estela Hernández held meetings with U.S. officials during her visit, beginning with FOMILENIO II, which would currently be being promoted in the coastal zone of El Salvador, from the Bay of Jiquilisco to La Unión.
Representative Hernández explained that both the project and the implementation of these funds must be based on community inclusion and guarantee sustainable development and the protection of ecosystems—in this case the Salvadoran coastal zone.
Both representatives are members of the National Assembly’s Committee on the Environment and Climate Change. They were optimistic about these meetings in which support was demonstrated for the protection of families and natural resources.
Translated by: Alaina Marie Sylla
— Listen to the complete audio from this briefing in Spanish here.