By Pamela Constable
Calling gold mining a scourge on the environment of El Salvador, a group of protesters rallied Monday outside the World Bank in the District, where a tribunal is discussing the case of a foreign company that seeks to extract gold from the impoverished Central American country.
About 100 protesters, including Salvadoran immigrants, Roman Catholic priests and environmental activists, were accompanied by Spanish-language protest songs as they chanted anti-mining slogans under an enormous balloon statue of a fat cat representing wealthy business interests.
“What’s happening in my home country is terrible. We have to save the few pure rivers and forests that still exist,” said Wilfredo Morataya, a library worker from Hyattsville who attended the rally. “These companies want to take our gold and leave us with contaminated earth.”
The rally coincided with El Salvador’s Independence Day, marking the date it was freed from Spanish control in 1821. Several speakers at the protest said demands by the mining company were an affront to El Salvador’s sovereignty and democratic rights. To read the full story, click here.