FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2011
Sierra Club Applauds Latin American Environment & Trade Activist Francisco Pineda for 2011 Goldman Prize Win
Living under the constant threat of assassination, Sierra Club ally Pineda led a citizens’ movement that stopped an international gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources
Washington, DC – The Sierra Club applauds today’s announcement of a prestigious 2011 Goldman Prize for Francisco Pineda, Sierra Club ally and Latin American environment and trade activist. Pineda has lived under constant threat of assassination for his work to protect critical water resources in his rural community in El Salvador from the Canadian mining giant Pacific Rim.
While Pineda succeeded in halting the gold mining operation for now, Pacific Rim has initiated a $100 million lawsuit under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) claiming that El Salvador is in violation of the agreement for halting the company’s plans. The case is expected to move forward this year.
Statement of Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director:
“Francisco Pineda’s win is a reminder to us all that the fight to protect our clean water and environment can be dangerous and deadly. Francisco has sacrificed his personal safety to stop an injustice of international proportions against his community, but their livelihoods may once again be at risk because of CAFTA and the abusive trade laws that favor multi-national corporations like Pacific Rim.
“The Sierra Club is proud to stand with Francisco Pineda and allies like him who fight for the rights of local communities, workers and activists across the globe. Together, we all must work to ensure that communities like Francisco’s are not exploited as dumping grounds for multi-national corporations.
“With Francisco’s inspiring and perilous story in mind, we should urge U.S. leaders to look beyond the interests of wealthy foreign investors, and consider the far-reaching - and often destructive - effects of international trade agreements, especially during the current negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.”
About the Sierra Club’s Trade Program:
The Sierra Club has actively worked against unfair international trade laws like CAFTA and worked to strengthen existing laws to protect workers and the environment. We believe that trade done right can foster development and sustainable growth, while also protecting workers and the environment in the United States and abroad. For more information on the Sierra Club’s work on trade visit: http://www.sierraclub.org/trade/
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