Gold, lawyers and contaminated rivers
Two different headlines today are intricately related. On the CNN Money website, the headline was Gold Edges Up to a New Record, which told readers that for the first time in history, the price of gold on international markets closed at $1280 an ounce. In the Salvadoran newspaper DiarioCoLatino, the headline was San Sebastian: The Open Secret of Mining Pollution. This article describes the legacy of pollution in the San Sebastian river, which local residents and activists say stems from a gold mine there. The mine is owned by the US company the Commerce Group, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
It is the record high prices of gold which have led North American gold mining companies like the Commerce Group and Canadian firm Pacific Rim to go to battle with the government of El Salvador. The Salvadoran government currently prohibits both firms from operating gold mining concessions. With gold at record high prices, the conflict between monetary profits and the fear of environmental degradation from mining is a sharp one. CONTINUES HERE