There is an ongoing conflict between interests which want to develop gold mines in El Salvador and a grass roots environmental movement sworn to stop any mining. So far the anti-mining movement is winning, having persuaded the government to continue an ad hoc ban on all new permitting for mining. That ban led the Canadian gold mining company Pacific Rim to bring an international arbitration under the DR-CAFTA trade agreement and El Salvador's investor law. The DR-CAFTA claim has been dismissed, but the arbitration continues under the investor law. Meanwhile the anti-mining movement continues to push to have a mining ban actually incorporated into law.
This history is well known to readers of this blog, and the conflict has been going on for many years. If you want to read in depth, just choose the "mining" topic from the right side column on the blog.
As we continue to wait for either a decision in the Pacific Rim arbitration or movement on a mining ban in the National Assembly, the Christian Science Monitor published a pair of stories this week on the mining conflict. The longer story titled El Salvador: buried treasure or fool's gold? is a piece generally sympathetic to Pacific Rim's attempts to open its El Dorado gold mine in the country. The shorter story is titled Mining is no savior for El Salvador, says Catholic Church and describes the role of the Catholic church in supporting a mining ban in the country.
Noticeably absent from the stories were the voices of the active members of the coalition of groups who oppose gold mining in the country and have made this such a visible story. To get that perspective, you'll have to go to StopESMining.org, with regular articles from the anti-mining movement.