The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee is Turning Gold into Environmental Justice.
Help us stop Canadian and US mining companies from strip mining gold from Salvadorans' hills! This is a David and Goliath issue, a global showdown. The mining companies will benefit by making huge profits as the price of gold and other precious metals continues to rise. The communities will suffer and could become unlivable as they face contaminated air, soil and water.
According to mining expert Keith Slack, producing one gold wedding ring creates 20 tons of waste. That waste - cyanide-treated rock that contains toxic metals and gives off sulfuric acids - can contaminate soils and groundwater forever.
Studies cited in a document produced by the Association for Economic and Social Development in El Salvador show the effects of gold mining in the Valle de Siria in Honduras. See photo at right.
Since the initiation of gold mining there, 19 of 23 rivers have dried up and a once agriculturally rich area has been converted to desert. Read a related article from The Guardian (U.K.).
The Canadian mining company Pacific Rim plans to pursue gold mining in the department of Cabanas, El Salvador, despite widespread opposition.
Studies predict that mining would affect 60 percent of the food production in that area.
Already communities have been torn apart by this issue, environmentalists have been killed, and lawsuits have been brought against the Salvadoran government under CAFTA (the Central American Free Trade Agreement). The Round Table against Mining in El Salvador has fought tirelessly against this threat for years and is now trying to get a law prohibiting mining in its country passed in the Salvadoran legislature - the first such law ever. Its efforts were recognized in 2009 when it was awarded the International Human Rights Prize by the Institute for Policy Studies.
Since 78 percent of gold production goes to jewelry, recycling some of that bling can help reduce the demand for new gold mines, and, at the same time, help fund opposition to gold mining in MOFGA's sistering communities in El Salvador. Recycling gold and other precious metals also creates a new market for responsible and fair trade metal products.
We are asking MOFGA members and friends if they can stand with us and donate unwanted gold and silver. Let us convert your stale memorabilia or something more precious into a potent force for economic and environmental justice. All proceeds will go to the anti-mining campaign in El Salvador and to the National US-El Salvador Sister Cities, which works hard to support the campaign's efforts. Please consider donating a gold or silver item you own to the Turn Your Gold into Environmental Justice campaign.
Contact Jaco at MOFGA for details - firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the environmental and human rights effects of gold mining visit http://elsalvadorsolidarity.org.