SEJ Annual Conference Panel Stirs Vigorous Discussion on Environmental Impact of Mining

November 30, 2011

Francisco Pineda, the 2011 Goldman Prize winner from El Salvador, recently participated in a panel at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ (SEJ) 21st Annual Conference. The panel consisted of representatives from the mining industry, citizens from the areas affected by mining, and environmental advocates including Keith Slack, manager of Oxfam America’s Right to Know, Right to Decide campaign.

Commenting on the destruction mining projects often leave in their wake, Pineda told the panel, “They told us we would have a better life, but mining touches every bit of our culture and society and it is not friendly to the environment or the community.”

Because of his activism, Pineda has received death threats and survived a poisoning attempt. Some of his fellow activists, volunteers, and their families have been tortured and murdered by supporters of the mine. On November 12, Pineda’s organization, the Environmental Committee of Cabanas (CAC) held an event to honor the anniversary of their deaths.