Event: Water: More Precious than Gold: Vidalina Morales

2013 March 04, by Chapter Council

Update: If you missed the talk, you can listen to a podcast version.

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

7:00 -9:00 pm  (doors 6:30)
Cadboro Bay United Church
2625 Arbutus Road
Victoria – Coast Salish Territories


Updates at  facebook.com/MiningJusticeActionCommittee.

Download the poster.

Vidalina is speaking in Victoria to highlight the dangers transnational mining companies pose to people, waters, and the environment.  She is here:

  • To raise awareness about the negative impact of Canadian mining operations on El Salvador
  • To garner international support for Salvadoran civil society’s call to ban metal mining in the Central American country.
Mining Justice Rally in Vancouver

Mining Justice Rally in Vancouver

Vidalina is worried about possible contamination from upstream mining projects just over the border in Guatemala and Honduras. Goldcorp’s Cerro Blanco mine, for example, is located only 18 km from El Salvador in the headwaters of the Lempa River, the main source of water for over 60% of El Salvador’s population.

The national tour is sponsored by MiningWatch Canada, Council of Canadians, United Church of Canada, KAIROS, Natural Resource Council of Maine, Salvaide, Breaking the Silence (Rompiendo el Silencio).

Local sponsors include Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC), Farabundo Marti Front of Liberation (FMLN), Central America Support Committee (CASC).

Be sure to let your friends and family across Canada and in the U.S. know that the “Water: More Precious than Gold” tour will be in their city (see tentative dates below).


Vidalina Morales de Gámez is a member of the National Roundtable against Metal Mining in El Salvador (La MESA). Vidalina Morales is the mother of five children and has worked with ADES – Economic and Social Development Association of Santa Marta for over 10 years. She has worked directly on mining issues as an organizer in Cabañas communities since 2006.

In 2007, the Salvadoran government began to put restrictions on the mining industry, as a result of the efforts made by La MESA and other members of civil society.  Two multinational mining corporations, Pacific Rim and Commerce Group, responded by filing lawsuits against the government. The companies claim their rights as investors are being violated.

Pacific Rim, a Vancouver-based company looking to mine in the department of Cabañas, is claiming losses of up to $100 million.  On June 1st, 2012, a World Bank trade tribunal ruled that the case would be allowed to continue. To date, four environmentalists from the region opposing Pacific Rim have been murdered, and countless others have suffered from threats, attacks, kidnapping attempts and violence.  While the Attorney General’s Office in El Salvador has never done thorough investigations into the intellectual authors of the crimes in Cabañas, local residents say that community divisions and conflict started when Pacific Rim arrived and began promoting their mining projects.

La MESA is fighting back against Pacific Rim and other companies in El Salvador by educating the population around the dangers of mining, carrying out scientific research  to support their positions, and pressuring decision makers in El Salvador to protect the environment and public health.  For La MESA the only way to protect El Salvador from the problems caused by metal mining is a complete ban on all metal mining.  As debate around a mining ban continues in the Legislative Assembly, communities and social movement continue to organize and struggle against this dangerous industry.

Vidalina’s Tour Dates

March 10                      Kamloops, BC
March 11 & 12              Vancouver, BC
March 13                      Victoria, BC
March 14                      Parksville, BC
March 16                      London, ON
March 17                      Guelph, ON
March 18 &19               Toronto, ON
March 20                     Peterborough, ON
March 21 to 23            Ottawa, ON
March 22                     Montreal, QC
March 24 & 25             Halifax, NS
March 26                     Wolfville, NS
March 27                     Sackville/Moncton, NS
March 28                     Frederickton, NS
March 29                     Bangor, ME
April 1                         Augusta, ME / Portland, ME
April 2                         Boston, MA
April 3                         New Jersey, NY
April 4                         New York, NY
April 5-10                   Washington, DC