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ATM Solidarity Statement for Santa Marta's Water Defenders

ATM Solidarity Statement | April 28, 2023

Alyansa Tigil Mina stands in solidarity with the Santa Marta 5 or the five human rights and water defenders in El Salvador who were arbitrarily detained last January 11, 2023. We join hundreds of people from various countries in calling for the release of these water defenders.

These five activists played a key role in the 2017 historic ban on metals mining. They were also combatants during the 1980-1992 civil war in El Salvador. But they have been charged with murder, unlawful deprivation of liberty, and unlawful association – alleged crimes that happened three decades ago during the civil war.

Water protectors assert their arrest and detention are politically-motivated and are meant to weaken community opposition to mining.

Like many other organizations and communities, we register our support to the resistance against the entry of OceanaGold in El Salvador. The people of El Salvador have long fought for the protection of their country and their water resources from global mining companies.

In fact, it became the first country to ban open-pit mining in 2017. However, this ban is currently under threat as government pushes for the resumption of mining in the country.

We join the call for the government of El Salvador to respect the will of the people and to stop the arbitrary arrests and harassment of environmental defenders. We call on the country’s leaders to heed the voices of its people and stop the entry of mining companies into country.

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