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Briefing: Investment Rules in Trade Agreements Who Benefits? The Case of Mining in El Salvador

Cannon House Office Building 27 Independence Ave SE, room 401, Washington, DC, United States

Community leaders from El Salvador will be in Washington to receive the 2009 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award on behalf of the National Roundtable on Mining. This broad coalition of environmental, faith-based, and community activists has successfully worked to block permits for potentially environmentally devastating mining in El Salvador.

The coalition will speak about the investor-state suits recently filed under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) by U.S. and Canadian mining companies against El Salvador. They will also discuss their work to oppose mining, and the attacks and threats that they and other members of the National Roundtable have suffered in El Salvador.


Representatives of El Salvador’s National Roundtable on Mining: William Castillo, Center for Research on Investment and Trade (CEICOM); Francisco Pineda, Environment Coordinating Committee of Cabañas
Sarah Anderson, Global Economy Project Director at the Institute for Policy Studies. Anderson will report on her recent experience serving on an official advisory committee to the Obama administration on bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The administration is currently reviewing the U.S. Model BIT, which includes rules that are similar to those in the investment chapter of CAFTA and other trade agreements.
Rep. Michael Michaud, Democratic Congressman from Maine and the lead sponsor of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act. One provision of the TRADE Act would ensure that trade agreements no longer permit foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals over domestic regulatory policies that protect public health and the environment.
Stephanie Burgos, Oxfam America (moderator)

For more information on this event, please contact Manuel Perez-Rocha, Institute for Policy Studies, at or (240) 838-6623 (mobile). For more information on the struggle over mining and the investor-state cases, read El Salvador's Gold Fight, a Foreign Policy In Focus commentary.

This event was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam America,and the Washington Office on Latin America, and sponsored by Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME).

Prospects and Challenges of the Africa Mining Vision

World Bank 1818 H Street, NW, Room MC C1-110, Washington, DC, United States

Two decades after the World Bank took the lead in liberalizing mining codes across Africa, the continent is united on the need to reform their mining codes to derive greater benefits. In 2008, the African Union adopted the African Mining Vision (AMV) 2050, which lays out a roadmap to achieve mining reforms on Africa’s own terms. Under the directive of the AU, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) constituted a body known as the International Study Group (ISG) to produce a report that would provide an intellectual basis for translating the AMV into policy. The report has been produced and was validated at a continent-wide meeting organised by the AU/UNECA in October 2010.

Film: They Go to Die

Landmark E Street Cinema 555 11th Street, N.W., Washington, DC, United States

They Go to Die is a documentary under development that raises concerns of TB, HIV, and human
rights violations in South Africa’s mining industry through the prism of life, love and family. Unlike traditional health films, it focuses on relationships and bonding, not simply disease.

Director Jonathan Smith will screen film from the documentary, followed by a panel discussion on TB, HIV, and human rights.

TPP vs. the Environment

Community Church of New York, John Haynes Holmes House 28 East 35th Street, Manhattan,, NY, United States

A panel discussion about President Obama's TPP expansion of hydro-fracking and Mining and is risks for our jobs, environment, food, and health!

The Cerro Blanco Mine and The Border Region of El Salvador and Guatemala

Consolate of El Salvador 2332 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC, United States

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Committee in Solidarity with the people of El Salvador (CISPES) invite you to a presentation about the implications of Mining projects in a key Central American region.

Impacts of Mining in El Salvador

Festival Center 1640 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC, United States

Join us for a light meal and a community meeting with Sandra Ascencio, representing the Salvadoran National Roundtable on Metallic Mining (La Mesa).

Latin America Rises Up

Pace University 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY, United States

Join IPS Associate Fellow, Manuel Pérez-Rocha as he presents at Left Forum 2013 on resistance to mega mining across the Americas.

Brown Bag Discussion with Yanira Cortez

Oxfam America 1101 17th Street, NW, Suite 1300, Washington, DC, United States

Join this roundtable discussion with El Salvador's Deputy Attorney for the Human Rights Ombudsman Office, Yanira Cortez about mining.