Nueva Vizcaya

Salvadoran environmentalists honor Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos Padilla

Iya Gozum

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Salvadoran environmentalists honor Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos Padilla

LEGACY. Carlos Padilla brought his anti-mining advocacy from Nueva Vizcaya to El Salvador.

Carlos Padilla's Facebook page

The late Carlos Padilla was pivotal in El Salvador's historic unanimous vote to ban metal mining in their country

MANILA, Philippines – El Salvador lost a ‘gentle but formidable and wise friend’ on May 5, said anti-mining networks in the country, when Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos Padilla passed away.

The National Roundtable against Metals Mining in El Salvador and International Allies of the Roundtable described Padilla as “a visionary environmental leader.” They extended their gratitude to the Philippines “for sharing Governor Padilla with us.”

Padilla was crucial in the historic vote of the Salvadoran legislature banning metals mining to protect rivers. In his own province, he was vocal against the presence of Australian mining company OceanaGold Philippines Incorporated and questioned the sustainability and benefits of mining.

In March 2017, Padilla traveled to Central America to speak before El Salvador’s President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, Environment Minister Lina Pohl, government officials, the private sector, and civil society groups about the effects of OceanaGold.

OceanaGold had been seeking permit to extract and process minerals since 2004 in El Salvador.

In his presentation, Padilla showed how lush landscapes in Dipidio village turned bald because of mining operations and how bodies of water became waste-filled and toxic. Communities near the mine were also affected, as they did not have access to clean water for drinking and irrigation.

The day after Padilla’s testimony, the Salvadoran legislature unanimously voted in favor of the mining ban. OceanaGold paid $8 million to the government for compensation in July 2017 and then closed the El Dorado project. “OceanaGold does not plan future investments in El Salvador,” it says in their website.

This story was documented in Robin Broad and John Cavanagh’s book, ‘The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed.’

The book won a Philippine National Book Award and Padilla was supposed to receive the award on behalf of the authors on May 13. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Face, Happy, Head


Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.