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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Compadres Snapshot July 6, 2009

Compadres Snapshot – July 6 2009

Day Five: Monday, July 6

8 AM. Drive out to San Vicente province to the Lower Lempa river region.
10 AM. Meeting with Mauricio Orellana Regional Cordinator for CORDES in that region. He will give us a tour of all the administration facilities and the rest of business initiatives they have there, at the Solidarity Plaza. Visit to Heros de la Sabana museum
Lunch there at their Restaurant Chinchontepec at the same Plaza.
In the afternoon visit the Cashew tree project
Accommodations at  Lempa Mar Hostel  in La Pita Community.

From Compadres web site www.compadres-elsalvador-canada.ca




Meeting with high school students in Bajo Lempa was a wonderful experience.  For over an hour we asked them about their lives and struggles, but we mainly focused on their hopes.  I record them all here, one thing is very obvious, they want to be a part of the change that is coming to El Salvador.

Excerpt from Compadres Journal 2008



Compadres group with high school students in Bajo Lempa

Saturday, June 12, 2010

RALLY 4 MINING JUSTICE Parliament Hill, Ottawa June 15, 2010 4:30pm


Tell Government to Watch and pass Bill C-300!

JOIN US on Parliament Hill June 15, 4:30pm

SHOW the people of El Salvador they are not alone in their sovereign decision

REQUEST Pacific Rim to drop its illegitimate lawsuit

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR ALL PEOPLE affected by mining in-justice

TELL Government to pass Bill C-300!

Philadelphia based documentary filmmaker Jamie Moffett will be screening his work Return to El Salvador(www.returntoelsalvador.com) to Canadian Parliamentarians and Ambassadors on June 15th 2010 at the behest of MP John McKay sponsor of Bill C-300, a Corporate Accountability Bill, which is invested in the film's message.

One aspect of the film outlines the disappearance of prominent mining activist Marcelo Rivera. Marcelo's kidnapping, torture and murder signifies a shift in El Salvador. No longer are people being disappeared solely for political reasons, but now social leaders who would dare to stand up for the environment. Investigating further, his crew found more and more signs in this mysterious disappearance pointing towards the Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining Company.

Pacific Rim, a Canadian mining company is currently pursuing an unjust lawsuit against the government of El Salvador. In 2009, the people and the Government of El Salvador decided they didn't want gold mining extraction on their land. Immediately afterward, through chapter 10 of CAFTA, Pacific Rim filled a lawsuit against the Salvadorian state for a loss of investment and future profits for over 100 million dollars.

This is why we need to pass Bill C-300, it represents the best chance we have to assure that Canadian extractive companies follow human rights and environmental best practices when they operate overseas. It assures that government financial and political support will not be provided to companies that breach human rights and environmental standards.

RALLY FOR MINING JUSTICE endorsed by:

Association for Social Economic Development (ADES), El Salvador

Amanecer Ranchero FM 89.1

Amnesty International, Business and Human Rights Program

Barrio Nuevo

Breaking the Silence

Canadians Against Mining in El Salvador (CAMES)

Cafe Justicia,

Center for Alternative Mining Development Policy in La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA

Christian Hispanic Community of Emmanuel United Church

Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine / Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL)

CLASP (Caribbean & Latin America Support Project - New Paltz, NY)

Council of Canadians

Education In Action

Emmanuel United Church

FMLN Ottawa-Gatineau

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO)

Kingston Central American Solidarity Committee

Latin American Solidarity Network

Magazine Vision Latina

Mining Watch Canada

OPIRG

Ottawa-Gatineau Coalition against mining in El Salvador

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Social Justice Fund

Punto de Encuentro, CKCU FM 93.1

Rights Action

Salvadorian Canadian Association of Ottawa and National Capital Region (ASCORCAN)

Salvadorian Women’s Association of Ottawa-Gatineau

Salvaide

Swedish - Salvadorian Friendship Association of Stockholm (Sweden's capital)

Territorio Libre

Radio Victoria, Cabanas, El Salvador

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

El Salvador 2005 Journal XVI Meeting with the Ambassador

The Development and Peace delegation outside the offices of the Canadian Embassy. Note the official-looking clothing for our visit!



The next day we finally met the Canadian Ambassador. We had been trying to arrange this visit for days. Just before a planned trip to the beach, we heard that this was the day for our meeting. We had been told that it was important to dress professionally for this encounter. No time for that. We arrived with beach towels and flippers to be ushered in to meet with the Canadian Ambassador, Gwyneth Ann Kutz.

This was a very interesting meeting. We had a good opportunity to present the philosophy and work of Development and Peace. We talked about the groups we had met with and discussed what we had learned in our meetings. All this information was new to the ambassador. In her time in El Salvador I don’t think there had been much of an opportunity for her to work with small NGO’s like Equipo Maiz and CRIPDES. This is really too bad, these groups are coming up with technical solutions for many of the problems that the Salvadoran people are experiencing.

The ambassador talked about the frustration the Canadian Government was having developing water projects in El Salvador. She noted that donors shy away from water projects because the issue of ownership is such a difficult one. People don’t want to pay for water, she said, and it is difficult to make them understand that they must pay. She also mentioned that the Canadian Aid agency, CIDA had to work through ANDA, the very corrupt Salvadoran water agency.

She also talked about the need to diversify agricultural production. She mentioned that tomatoes and coriander could be marketed while corn and beans should be bought from producers to the North.

It was very interesting to hear her opinions. She was very open with us and we appreciated her frankness. What we found curious was that there was very little understanding of the good work that is being done by local groups on water projects and crop diversification. It is more than a little frustrating that these small groups face funding challenges when they offer good local solutions to the problems faced by the Salvadoran people.