The CIEL (Centre for International Environmental Law based in Washington DC) has sent news about reprisals taken against environmental defenders who protest against the Santa Cruz de la India mine. This brief article occurs almost one year after the article about Mina la India from April 2019 listed above this one in the website. The more recent one supports doubts about the claims made for the environmental and social practices of the mine by the British owned Condor Gold mining company and the Nicaraguan government. This more recent report from CIEL suggests that the mine continues to be associated with a pattern of repression.
CIEL denounces reprisals aimed at Nicaraguan defenders for publicly noting IFC divestment from controversial mine project
Washington, DC — The Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL) denounces an ongoing wave of intimidation, retaliation, and criminalisation targeting Nicaraguan environmental defenders and community leaders who have publicly opposed plans for a controversial gold mining project in Santa Cruz de la India, Nicaragua.
On December 18, 2019, a group of approximately 15 police in full riot gear raided the home of Olmán Salazar, a leader of the Community Movement of Santa Cruz de la India, which has organised in opposition to the La India gold mine project of UK-based company Condor Gold. The police handcuffed, interrogated, and physically and verbally assaulted Sr Salazar and family members present at his home. Police also confiscated Sr Salazar’s computer, telephone, and other personal possessions, which they have retained to carry out an investigation. Sr Salazar fears additional criminalisation may result from this investigation.
Notably, this incident occurred just days after Sr Salazar presented a public statement regarding the 2019 divestment from Condor Gold by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) at a press conference held by the Movimiento Nacional Ambiental Frente a la Minería Industrial (MONAFMI). To CIEL’s knowledge, this statement issued to the Nicaraguan press represented the first public announcement made in Nicaragua about the IFC’s divestment.
For several years, defenders and community leaders had called for the IFC’s divestment from the mining project due to the project’s major impacts on water sources and the environment. They hail the IFC’s decision to divest as a victory for the movement.
The MONAFMI statement in Spanish, as well as an English translation, are available below:
- Banco Mundial retira su inversión del proyecto minero de Cóndor Gold en Nicaragua
- World Bank divests from Condor Gold mining project in Nicaragua
CIEL has worked with affected community members and partners in Nicaragua to raise awareness about previous acts of police intimidation and harassment against community members for their opposition to the project.