Vidalina Morales, president, Association for Economic and Social Development of El Salvador (ADES) interviewed for The Guardian in response to the murder of Honduran activist Berta Caceres.
I felt indignation and sadness at Berta’s murder. I cried a lot and felt pain.
And it is not a unique case. Through this decade many others have been murdered in Honduras for defending their lands. Here in El Salvador we have had four environmentalists murdered including Dora Sorto who was eight months pregnant. Without a doubt, the struggle to defend our territories and to protect the environment is alive throughout the continent.
With ADES, we have been fighting to stop the introduction of mining projects in Cabañas, and El Salvador, for the last ten years. We are also working with farming communities to change practices in the use of pesticides and foster farming practices that are a sustainable alternative to mining. And, we work on community education campaigns to inform the population about the negative impacts of mining and extractive industries.
Hope is the last thing you lose. In El Salvador we will continue to push the government and legislative assembly for a total prohibition on mining. We will continue to mobilise so that we are heard by the government and we will never lose our faith. We know, however, that multinational corporations are powerful and their capacity to influence decision making is also strong; so, we are facing a David v Goliath struggle. But, we will continue to advance the work we do in defence of our territories.