Central American anti-mining activists form coalition in Nicaragua

Organizations meeting in Managua came from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua with advice from experts from Mexico and Ecuador.

"In principle we want join forces, knowledge and experience, to make a single block in Central America to counter the presence of corporations at the regional level," explained to Efe Felipe Ortiz from the Strategic Group Against Mining in Rancho Grande, Nicaragua .

For the representative of the Centre for Research on Investment and Trade in El Salvador-CEICOM, David Pereira, this unity is “urgently" needed because poor and rural communities have a difficult time defending themselves against large multinational corporations.

"Companies take advantage of the poverty in which people live, they will offer them jobs to stop being poor, and who will not want to stop being poor these days? But they hide the real impact of mining." said David Pereira, from CEICOM, El Salvador .

Another problem is the relationship between mining and governments. "With the investment and corporate social responsibility they(mining companies) have been substituting the state, but it should not be so," questioned the extractive industries Advocacy Officer of the Humboldt Center, Tania Sosa.

That "the ability of corporations to commit public official to their projects" is one of the most troubling issues, along with the degradation of water, health and forests , that entails the mining industry, insisted David Pereira.

Of the countries that were represented, Nicaragua and Guatemala have gold among as one of the main exports.

In 2012 gold was the second most important export in Nicaragua, with 431.8 million dollars, for Guatemala was the fourth most important product, with 612.9 million dollars. ACAN –EFE