Pacific Rim shareholders meet today!
August 25, 2010
Let’s send a clear message: Withdraw your shameful lawsuit against El Salvador!
Today, the shareholders and Board of Directors of Pacific Rim Mining will meet for their Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, B.C. When the government and people of El Salvador stopped Pacific Rim’s gold mines from opening, this Canadian corporation opened a storefront in Nevada, and is now using the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) to sue the Salvadoran government for hundreds of millions of dollars in ‘lost profits’.
The company has been telling their shareholders that they are still hopeful for a “resolution” with the Salvadoran government. However, after the 2009 elections, El Salvador finally has a democratic government that is responding to the people’s demands. On Saturday, the President of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes reiterated his public commitment: “I will not authorize any mining exploration or exploitation project” and he welcomed the process underway in the Legislative Assembly to pass a national ban on metallic mining.
El Salvador is standing strong in the face of violent attacks against rural communities that oppose the mines and the open threat of the World Bank lawsuit. We need you to stand in solidarity with these struggles against corporate extortion, neocolonialism, and environmental racism in Latin America today!
Let’s keep Pacific Rim’s phone ringing off the hook all morning; solidarity activists will take over at the start of the meeting (3 pm PST) with a rally outside the conference center. Call Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, the Chair of the Board of Directors today to let her know that she is up against the peoples of El Salvador, Canada and the US!
1) Call Pacific Rim and tell them to drop the lawsuit and get out of El Salvador! See sample script below.
Call Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, Chair of the Board of Directors in the Vancouver, BC office at (604) 689-1976. Call as early as you can before she heads off to the shareholder meeting!
2) Email a letter to the editor of the Vancouver Sun to expose this corporate extortion! See sample letter below.
Send a short letter to the editor (200 words or less) at: email@example.com
SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT:
Hello. My name is _________ and I have been following Pacific Rim’s lawsuit against the government El Salvador. I am calling with a message for the Board of Directors and all the shareholders who are meeting today.
The people of El Salvador have rejected the mine and that decision must be respected. Your lawsuit is a shameful ploy to rob the government of desperately-needed resources for your own financial gain. But you have a chance to do the right thing at today’s meeting. I call on you to make the decision to:
1. Immediately withdraw from Cabañas and cease all efforts to mine gold in El Salvador.
2. Immediately withdraw your lawsuit against the government of El Salvador.”
SAMPLE TEXT OF LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE VANCOUVER SUN:
To the editors:
There is a new form of corporate extortion going on in Vancouver today which is not being covered by the Sun. Pacific Rim Mining is suing the government of El Salvador for, at minimum, $77 million dollars for rejecting its proposed gold mine. This company is based in Vancouver and the Board of Directors, chaired by Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, has deep ties to the Canadian mining industry. However, the company now claims to be American, at least American enough to sue El Salvador through the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement.
As worldwide resistance to the plundering of land and resources by Canadian mining companies grows, it seems the industry is getting desperate and more dangerous (the Sun previously looked in to Pacific Rim after three local environmentalists were murdered). Suing an entire nation, especially a country like El Salvador, whose economy has been ransacked by centuries of exploitation and now “free” trade, because you could not convince local people to let you destroy their lands, is not just immoral; it should be illegal.
You can also fax this letter to the Vancouver Sun at 604-605-2522 (Attn: Letters to the Editor)