El Salvador’s struggle against corporate impunity (tni.org)

The controversial legal case that Canadian mining firm Pacific Rim has launched against El Salvador has added fuel to the growing international debate on the balance of corporate rights and responsibilities and the need for new legal international frameworks to address corporate impunity.

el_salvador_-_pacific_rim from tni

15 September marked the anniversary of independence of El Salvador . Tellingly on the same day, in a world where corporate power can supercede that of states, the small Central American country is in a Washington-based investment court battling it out for its right to regulate on health and environmental grounds against a transnational mining firm. The controversial legal case that Canadian mining firm Pacific Rim has launched against El Salvador has added fuel to the growing international debate on the balance of corporate rights and responsibilities and the need for new legal international frameworks to address corporate impunity.

Pacific Rim, a gold-mining corporation, is demanding $301 million from El Salvador in the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a secretive World Bank tribunal in Washington D.C. The basis for their case is that Pacific Rim was denied concessions because it failed to meet environmental impact and licencing requirements. It is also a legal challenge to El Salvadorian government decisions since 2008 to deny gold-mining permits in order to protect scarce water resources from cyanide pollution. (To read more, click here.)

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