Her name is Dora Alicia Recinos Sorto, a Salvadoran anti-mining activist. Dora was eight months pregnant and the shooting also wounded her two year old son. Dora is not the first victim of Canadian mining company Pacific Rim, in the Caba_ñas Region of El Salvador where communities are campaigning against mining expansion.
Dona's murder comes six days after the fatal shooting of Ramiro Rivera Gomez, Vice President of the Caba_ñas Environmental Committee, who had survived being shot eight times in August this year. In June, another environmental campaigner, Gustavo Marcelo Rivera Moreno (no relation), had been tortured and killed. Many other members of the community have received death threats, including youth workers and journalists for the local community radio station Radio Victoria, and the local priest Father Luis Quintanilla narrowly escaped an attempted kidnapping.
H‚ctor Berros, a lawyer belonging to the National Working Group against Mining, said the motive for the murders was clearly linked to the victims' activism against mining in general and Pacific Rim in particular. Pacific Rim "unequivocally denies these accusations", and called them "false" and "wrongful" "misinformation."
Miguel _ngel Rivera, Marcelo's brother and a fellow member of ASIC, said the killings have spread fear in the anti-mining movement: "When my little eight-year-old girl goes off to school, I wonder how safe she will be. And at night, if I hear a car driving by, I fear the worst," but underlined that he intends to carry on, in spite of his worries about his wife and daughter.
In 2008 authorities in El Salvador refused to issue the company a mining permit for the El Dorado mine, 65 km northeast of the capital, after an intense anti-mining campaign by civil society organisations, local authorities and residents, and Catholic Church leaders. Through a U.S. subsidiary, Pacific Rim is suing the Salvadoran state for 700 million dollars in compensation for lost investment, under provisions in the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the U.S.