Please Investigate the Mysterious Death of Marcelo Rivera

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From: Your Name <>
Subject: Please Investigate the Mysterious Death of Marcelo Rivera

Your Personal Statement

I am writing to ask you to take action in the face of a tragic event in the small county of El Salvador involving the torture and murder of an anti-mining activist, Gustavo Marcelo Rivera. His death came after repeated attempts on the part of the community of San Isidro, Department of Cabanas, the Roman Catholic Church, and both former President Tony Saca and current President Mauricio Funes to refuse gold mining permits to Pacific Rim, a Canadian company with a subsidiary in Reno, Nevada. Pacific Rim has taken action against the country of El Salvador through the Central America Free Trade Agreement, claiming that having allowed research at the El Dorado mining site, the government has no grounds to delay permits. In addition Pacific Rim is actively resisting the efforts of environmentalists and community activists to curtail their projects. The fact that Canada is not a party to CAFTA implicates the US in that a subsidiary of Pacific Rim in Nevada has become the plaintiff in the arbitration.

Oxfam America has published a number carefully researched documents describing the environmental degradation wrought by gold mining in poor countries. In a common procedure, cyanide laced water is used to leech gold out of rock, polluting streams, rendering livestock ill or sterile, and compromising the health of children and adults. [See Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities and the Environment -] Given its small size and dense population, El Salvador is particularly vulnerable to this death-dealing devastation.

The murder of Marcelo Rivera is one more instance of a mining death. His mutilated body was found on July 1 -- 11 days after his disappearance -- at the bottom of a deep well on the edge of a remote corn field. The police account alleges that Marcelo was drinking with gang members when a fight ensued; they say he died as a result of this violence. Forensic evidence says otherwise. The condition of his body bears all the marks of a death squad assassination. In addition, family and community members adamantly assert that Marcelo did not drink and was on his way to a meeting of non-profit organizations when he was kidnapped.

There is strong evidence that the death of Marcelo was politically motivated. In addition to founding and directing Friends of San Isidro Association (ASIC), an anti-mining activist group, he had angered local officials by denouncing fraud in municipal elections held in January. The gang members charged with his murder are in jail; the intellectual authors have not been named or investigated.

I ask you to take three actions:

1. Join the international community in calling for a full investigation of the murder of Marcelo Rivera by the authorities in El Salvador. A full list is available on the Share Foundation website:

2. Join the environmental justice community in calling for an end to mining practices that destroy the environment and compromise the health of persons and animals living near mining activity.

3. Call for an investigation into the actions of Pacific Rim and their US subsidiary in recent events in El Salvador.

With Hope,

The Undersigned

Your Name
Your Organization
123 Your St.
Yousville, YO 12345
Phone: (123)456-7890
Fax: (123)456-7890x123
Campaign (<em>1710</em>): <em>Please Investigate the Mysterious Death of Marcelo Rivera</em>
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