On Thursday, January 11, MiningWatch Canada hosted a press release event presenting the findings from the ‘State of Deception’ fact-finding report on the detained water defenders, mining, and the state of human rights under the Bukele regime in El Salvador.
The report is co-authored by Robin Broad, a research professor in Environment, Development, and Health at SIS. It exposes the unlawful detention of the ‘Santa Marta Five,’ prominent water defenders whose leadership was instrumental in the success of an over 13-year community mobilization campaign, culminating in the 2017 Mining Ban law in El Salvador. This groundbreaking law marked El Salvador as the world’s first country to outlaw metallic mining, a crucial move given the industry’s history of environmental impact and water contamination, especially on the vital Lempa River.
In addition to the report’s findings on systemic violations of human rights, a key finding outlines evidence signaling Bukele’s attempts to overturn the 2017 Mining ban, evident in various actions and policy shifts. The report also draws on insights from the book ‘The Water Defenders’ co-authored by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh.