logos letter ICSID

El Salvador is being sued by Pacific Rim Mining, a Canadian based corporation owned by Australia's OceanaGold, before the International Center for the Settlement of Investments Disputes –ICSID-. The case will enter a critical stage in January 2014.  We need your support to urge World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim to review the role of the ICSID through an open process that includes the voices of the communities affected by the decisions of this Tribunal

Two years ago, 264 organizations, among them Unions, NGOs, faith and grassroots groups, signed a letter to  former World Bank President Robert Zoellick to express concern about  the outrageous lawsuit Pacific Rim Mining had filed against El Salvador before ICSID.  The letter supported the right of El Salvador and any other country to set their own standards, laws and regulations to protect their environment, their public health  and their labor and human rights.

ICSID denied jurisdiction under the DR-CAFTA but accepted the continuation of the case under a provision of El Salvador's Investment Law. This provision allowed foreign investors to bypass local courts and take their disputes directly to international tribunals. Since then El Salvador has amended that law, but unfortunately it is not retroactive.

ICSID is once again  receiving arguments from the parties involved. Given the importance of this case, we are –once again- asking for your support to increase the pressure on the Tribunal to resolve in favor of democratic rights in El Salvador. We can do this by raising  the international profile of the case and  further denouncing  the possible negative impacts of Pacific Rim’s operations in the country, including damage  to El Salvador’s lands and main water supplies; violations of basic Human Rights , violence and social instability.

We are asking World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim to initiate an evaluation of ICSID’s role and determine whether the Tribunal's support for corporations undermines national laws and regulations, and it hinders economic development in the Global South. 

Please consider adding your organization's name to the letter below and share with other organizations you believe may be interested in signing.  

For further information please contact Manuel Perez Rocha at manuel@ips-dc.org or Pedro Cabezas stopesmining@gmail.com.