Projects in El Salvador
Water Management Project in Cabañas, El Salvador
In recent years, issues over water management have plagued the San Isidro community in the Cabañas region of El Salvador. For some time, the people of this community have been engaged in a legal struggle against Oceana Gold (formerly known as Pacific Rim), an Australian mining company claiming rights to do gold mining in the region, an activity that can result in the contamination of one of the few remaining clean water sources in the area, the Titihuapa River. Local activists for water rights have received death threats and been attacked because of their efforts to save local waters. In 2009, Ramiro Rivera and Dora Sorto, local water activists, were murdered, allegedly in relation to the case. In 2011, Rivera and Sorto’s murders were followed by the murder of Francisco Duran Ayala, another local activist for water rights. Currently, the legal struggle between Pacific Rim and the government of El Salvador is sitting with the World Bank’s Center for Settlement of Arbitration Disputes (ICSID). A local, community-based organization in San Isidro actively working to secure access to clean water in their region is called MUFRAS-32. The PPP is collaborating with MUFRAS-32 and the community to convene relevant local actors so that they can work together to take steps to prevent violence related to water mismanagement.