La Mesa Anti-mining Demonstration
Before 2000 rural communities in El Salvador were unaware of the gold beneath their feet. When it was discovered the government felt it was necessary to exploit the minerals for the economic growth for the country, but people quickly learned that the costs were too high. When people learned about the negative effects of mining they began to organize against it. By that time mega mining corporations had begun exploring for minerals and buying up properties, displacing the rural communities and contaminating waterways. At that time, strong regulatory bodies didn’t exist to combat mining and protect the public. Thus, the National Round Table Against Metallic Mining (La Mesa) was formed, which consists of various anti-mining organizations across the country. By 2009 the organization gained enough strength to force the government to halt mining and now they are demanding an all out ban on mining.
This story first aired on 89.9 WORT FM in Madison, Wisconsin March 3, 2013.