agriculture, Economy, Environment, Food Security, Public Health, Water/Agua

DIA MUNDIAL CONTRA MONSANTO

¡HOY y TODOS LOS DÍAS decimos NO! a las corporaciones transnacionales como #MONSANTO, que sacrifican personas por ganancias y que tienen las manos manchadas de sangre.
¡UNA NUEVA AGRICULTURA ES POSIBLE, SIN AGROQUÍMICOS NI MONOCULTIVOS!

monsanto
International Day Against Monsanto

TODAY and EVERYDAY we say NO! to transnational coroporations like #MONSANTO, who sacrifice people for profits, and who tienen las manos manchadas de sangre
A NEW AGRICULTURE IS POSSIBLE, WITHOUT AGROCHEMICALS OR MONOCULTURES!

civil war, Historical Memory, human rights, Liberation Theology, solidarity, U.S. Relations, Voices Developments

Nuestras Raíces

Nuestra organización incluye la palabra “frontera” en ella, porque nacimos en la frontera de Honduras y El Salvador, en un campo de refugiados llamado Colomoncagua.

Nuestros fundadores norteamerican@s fueron trabajadores humanitarios en el campamento, nuestros fundadores fueron médicos en plena guerra, nuestros fundadores fueron dadores de santuario, que arriesgaron sus vidas para exponer la verdad y ayudar al pueblo salvadoreño.

Ya se trate de escudos humanos, infraestructura a gran escala, legalización de tierras, financiación de bancos comunitarios … Para VOCES, todo comenzó allí. Para VOCES, el acompañamiento sigue siendo todo.

Our Roots

Our organization includes the word “border” in it, because we were born on the border of Honduras and El Salvador, in a refugee camp called Colomoncagua.

Our North American founders were humanitarian workers in the camp, our founders were doctors in the midst of war, our founders were sanctuary givers, who risked their lives to expose the truth and help the Salvadoran people.

Whether it’s human shields, large-scale infrastructure, land legalization, community bank financing … For VOCES, it all started there. For VOCES, accompaniment is still everything.

COVID 19, human rights, News Highlights, Youth Development

Great Music for a Great Cause!

TICKETS | ENTRADAS

ConciertoBenefico 2021 event banner(eng)

It’s that time of year again for Voices on the Border’s Solidarity Concert!

 Last year, we surpassed our fundraising goal of $2,000, and this year we hope to do the same. We will be fundraising to pay the amazing bands that will be performing and to support a Sexual Health Peer Education program run by adolescents and young adults in the rural department of Morazan.

 

TICKETS | ENTRADAS

 

ConciertoBenefico 2021 event banner

¡Es esa época del año nuevamente para el Concierto Solidario de Voces en la Frontera!

El año pasado, superamos nuestra meta de recaudación de fondos de $2,000 y este año esperamos hacer lo mismo. Recaudaremos fondos para pagar a las increíbles bandas que se presentarán y para apoyar un programa de educación de pares sobre salud sexual dirigido por adolescentes y adultos jóvenes en el departamento rural de Morazán.

TICKETS | ENTRADAS

Corruption, El Salvador Government, ElectionSV2021, human rights, News Highlights

A BLOW TO DEMOCRACY IN EL SALVADOR

LEER EN ESPAÑOL

With urgency and with little consideration, the new Legislative Assembly, which took office on May 1st, decided to dismiss the magistrates of the highest Constitutional Court of El Salvador. These are the same judges who in the past issued resolutions to regulate the overareaches of Executive power during the pandemic and who had not been well-liked by President Nayib Bukele.

Salvadoran law establishes that the Legislative Assembly is empowered to remove magistrates; however, this type of decision must follow a process based on specific causes established in the Constitution itself. The fact that President Bukele disagreed with the resolutions passed by the Supreme Court is not a legal reason to have the entire apparatus removed.

Immediately after the dismissal, the Assembly appointed new magistrates to take office. And just like that, the new judges entered the building of the Supreme Court of Justice, accompanied by high ranking members of the National Police. The Assembly then proceeded in the exact same way to replace the Attorney General of the Republic.

Due to the harassing manner, the unjustified causes and the illegality of these decisions, reactions were swift. International organizations, lawyers, social organizations, universities and opposition parties denounced this as an attempted coup by the Legislative Assembly, with orders coming directly from the top.

In this regard, the Salvadoran human rights defender and former candidate for the secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Celia Medrano, stated: “For those who still had doubts about the consequences of giving more power to those who already had it, or for those who still await restrained actions from an executive branch that has already tried to coerce another organ of the State with military force; what happened this May 1st makes clear that the last pillar of weak democratic institutions in the country is the next to be dismantled to build on total power.”

High officials of the United States government have also expressed their concern over the Assembly’s actions. for example, Juan S. González, the special assistant to POTUS, tweeted a forceful message on his Twitter account: “That’s not how it’s done.”

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Vice president Kamala Harris also spoke out and her message was: “We have a deep concerns about El Salvador’s Democracy, in light of the National Assembly’s vote to remove constitutional court judges. An independent judiciary is critical to a healthy democracy – and to a strong economy.”

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On the same Saturday night, US officials warned that relations with El Salvador could deteriorate. “A strong US-El Salvador relationship will depend on the government of El Salvador respecting the separation of powers and submitting to democratic norms,” ​​Julie Chung, Acting Secretary of the State Department for the Western Hemisphere, said on Twitter.

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For its part, in an official statement released on their social networks, the Organization of American States (OAS) expressed that it also rejects the dismissal of the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice and that of the Attorney General, Raúl Melara, as well as the actions of the Executive Branch that guided these decisions.”

Faced with this situation, recognized Salvadoran civil society organizations have called on the population to mobilize in order to defend democracy. In response to this call, hundreds of people gathered this Sunday in the place known as “Monument to the Constitution” and massive mobilizations are expected to continue in the coming days.

A few hours later, members of the dismissed Constitutional Chamber issued a declaration of unconstitutionality of the legislative decree, thus annulling the decision that dismissed them, which of course is adding uncertainty to the growing tense political situation in the country.

However, three of the dismissed magistrates have submitted their resignation, as has the Prosecutor, which makes it more likely that this blow to the already weakened Salvadoran democracy will be consolidated and that the new Legislative Assembly will continue to maneuver in line with the interests of the President in order to concentrate his power, regardless of legality or legitimacy.


dd58f32f621bbe56a711c979ccd31498La juramentación de los nuevos magistrados [diario del hoy]

GOLPE A LA DEMOCRACIA EN EL SALVADOR

Con urgencia y sin mayor estudio la nueva Asamblea Legislativa, que tomó posesión el pasado 01 de mayo, decidió destituir a los magistrados del máximo tribunal Constitucional de El Salvador. Los mismos jueces que en el pasado emitieron resoluciones para regular los abusos de poder del Ejecutivo durante la pandemia y que no habían sido del agrado del presidente Nayib Bukele

La ley salvadoreña establece que la Asamblea Legislativa está facultada para destituir a los magistrados; no obstante, este tipo de decisiones debe seguir un proceso teniendo a la base causas específicas establecidas en la misma Constitución. El hecho que el presidente Bukele no esté de acuerdo con sus resoluciones no es una razón legal para destituirlos.

Luego de la destitución, la Asamblea nombró a nuevos magistrados, quienes posteriormente ingresaron al edificio de la Corte Suprema de Justicia para tomar posesión de sus cargos, acompañados de las más altas autoridades de la Policía. Seguidamente La Asamblea procedió de la misma forma para sustituir al Fiscal General de la República.

Por la forma atropellada, por las causas injustificadas y por la ilegalidad de estas decisiones, las reacciones no se hicieron esperar; organismos internacionales, abogados, organizaciones sociales, universidades y partidos de oposición denuncian un intento de Golpe de Estado por parte de la Asamblea Legislativa, planificado desde Casa Presidencial.

Al respecto, la defensora de derechos humanos y excandidata a la secretaría de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH), la salvadoreña Celia Medrano, manifestó: “Para quienes aún tuvieran dudas de las consecuencias de dar más poder a los que ya lo tenían, o para quienes aún esperen acciones comedidas desde un poder Ejecutivo que ya había intentado coaccionar con fuerza militar a otro órgano del Estado; lo sucedido este primero de mayo deja en claro que el último pilar de la débil institucionalidad democrática en el país, es el siguiente en ser desmantelado para construir sobre el poder total”.

También altos funcionarios del gobierno de los Estados Unidos han manifestado su rechazo, por ejemplo, el asistente especial del presidente de los Estados Unidos, Juan S. González, publicó un mensaje contundente en su cuenta de Twitter: “así no se hace”. De igual forma la vicepresidenta, Kamala Harris se pronunció y su mensaje fue: “Tenemos una profunda preocupación por la democracia de El Salvador, a la luz del voto de la Asamblea Nacional para destituir a los jueces de la corte constitucional. Un poder judicial independiente es fundamental para una democracia sana y para una economía fuerte”.

La misma noche del sábado, funcionarios estadounidenses advirtieron que las relaciones con El Salvador pueden deteriorarse. “Una fuerte relación EEUU-El Salvador dependerá de que el gobierno de El Salvador respete la separación de poderes y se someta a las normas democráticas”, dijo en Twitter, Julie Chung, secretaria en funciones del departamento de Estado para el Hemisferio Occidental.

Por su parte la Organización de Estados Americanos expresó que rechaza la destitución de los magistrados de la Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia y la del Fiscal General, Raúl Melara, así como las acciones del Poder Ejecutivo que guiaron esas acciones”, dice un comunicado oficial divulgado en sus redes sociales.

manifestacion-contra-golpe-en-asamblea01 [ElSalvador.com]

Ante esta coyuntura reconocidas organizaciones de la sociedad civil salvadoreña han hecho un llamado a la población a movilizarse para defender la democracia, atendiendo este llamado cientos de personas se concentraron este domingo en el lugar conocido como “Monumento a la Constitución” y se esperan movilizaciones masivas en los próximos días.

Además, la misma Sala Constitucional destituida, unas horas después, emitió una declaratoria de inconstitucionalidad del decreto legislativo, anulando de esta forma la decisión que los destituyó, lo cuál agrega incertidumbre a la tensa situación política del país.

Sin embargo, tres de los magistrados destituidos han presentado su renuncia, de igual forma lo ha hecho el Fiscal, lo cual hace más probable que se consolide este golpe a la ya debilitada democracia salvadoreña y que la nueva Asamblea Legislativa continúe maniobrando alineada al interés del presidente, para poder concentrar poder, sin importar la legalidad ni la legitimidad.

Capacity Building, education, Public Health, solidarity, Youth Development

Education in Times of Covid-19

Socially speaking, El Salvador was already deteriorating before COVID-19 hit, owing to rising rates of poverty and extreme poverty, the persistence of inequalities and growing social discontent. In this context, the pandemic was to inevitably have a profoundly negative impact on various social sectors, particularly public health and education.

Even before the pandemic, VOICES has been working with rural schools and families in an attempt to radically improve the culture of learning throughout these regions, by identifying and addressing major gaps in educational outcomes. Since the pandemic began, we’ve been supporting initiatives that deploy distance learning modalities through a variety of formats and platforms (both on and off-line), while also supporting the mobilization of education personnel and students and helping these institutions stay equipped with the necessary biomedical resources to ensure the overall well-being of students and their families.
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Building a Dignified Learning Environment
Isla de Monte Cristo, Bahia del Jiquilisco
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In 1992, the Island of Monte Cristo was resettled by local farmers taking advantage of the postwar land transfer program. Today, the remote community contains acres of fruit trees, a handful of farming families, and hundreds of nesting birds.

Due to years of abandonment by both local and the national government, organizations like VOICES have been approached by local leaders to help them tackle specific issues like their lack of vital resources such as potable water and access to education.

Thanks in part to the generosity of South Bay Sanctuary Covenant, and the efforts of the islanders themselves in managing the logistics, the transportation of materials and the labor, their small school is in the middle of a complete makeover.

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Rural Mobile Technology Lab
Centro Escolar Amando Lopez, Bajo Lempa, Usulután
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The Mobile Tech Lab began in 2020, in response to the official closure of all Salvadoran educational institutions. Luckily for the kids, the Amando Lopez School staff have always been at the forefront of developing creative initiatives to entice students and keep communities learning.

The Lab is helping bridge the digital divide in the Bajo Lempa, by offering direct technology to students and computer skills to teachers. 112 students are currently taking part in the Lab, by attending in-person or virtual classes in communities Amando Lopez, La Canoa and 14th de Abril. The teaching staff continue to say that their goals are being accomplished through this program, goals such as keeping students and teachers connected, providing students the critical technological tools they need to succeed and strengthening the technical capabilities of the teachers.

It is also important to note that because of the school’s stringent biohealth approach, Amando Lopez has become a model for other institutions who wish to teach kids, during a global pandemic.

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Early Childhood Education Improvement
Bajo Lempa Preschools, Usulután
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Preschool teachers are critical agents of children’s social and emotional development, which in turn is a key predictor of their current and future academic and social success. Rural pre-schoools in El Salvador however are notorious for being left of the equation when it comes to government funding around paying dignified salaries, operational budgets, building infrastructures, etc.

For VOICES, it is important to support these institutions in their educational proceses by helping to supplement these shortcomings and offering them quality continuing education workshops with pedagogical professionals.

Recently, we worked with five different preschools in the Bajo Lempa to facilitate a series of highly interactive age and developmentally appropriate activities aimed at improving the methodological foundations of their curriculum and internal organizations.

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We want to reiterate our gratitude for our dear friends from South Bay Sanctuary Covenant of Northern California, St.John of God Church of San Francisco, the Carlos Rosario International school family in Washington D.C. and generous individuals and families who continue to understand the need for providing quality education in the middle of a pandemic. If it weren’t for each and everyone of you and the dedication and perseverance of our Salvadoran patterns, who knows how many bright young futures would be stifled and lost.

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Climate Change, Disasters, Environment, Food Security, human rights, Public Health, Water/Agua

EL DIA DE LA TIERRA

READ IN ENGLISH

earth day 2021 votb_esppCada 22 de abril se celebra el Día Internacional de la Tierra, ocasión oportuna para reflexionar sobre lo que está pasando a nuestro planeta y generar conciencia sobre la necesidad de cambiar drásticamente paradigmas y comportamientos individuales y colectivos que devastan la tierra.

La tierra es nuestra casa común que se formó hace aproximadamente 4,550 billones de años, su evolución hizo posible las condiciones para que surgiera la vida, unos mil millones de años después. La capa de ozono y el campo magnético terrestre bloquean la radiación solar dañina, mientras que la atmósfera retiene la energía solar suficiente para un clima y una temperatura idónea para la vida, así mismo el agua y la existencia de diversos procesos físicos y químicos hacen posible la vida de animales y vegetales, que interactúan en un equilibrio dinámico y sustentable.

La comunidad científica estima que en el planeta existen 8.7 millones de especies, de las cuales apenas han sido registradas 1.3 millones, lo que significa que aproximadamente el 86% de las especies terrestres y el 91% de las marinas aún no se conocen. La vida del ser humano depende de esta riqueza biológica; no obstante, el ser humano es la única especie que está provocando su extinción. Según la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, UICN 5.200 especies de animales vertebrados se encuentran en grave peligro de desaparecer.

Una de las razones principales de esta pérdida de especies es la deforestación, de acuerdo a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, FAO entre los años 1990 y 2016 se han eliminado 129 millones de hectáreas de bosque, siendo la principal responsable la agricultura comercial a gran escala, que origina el 40% de la deforestación a nivel del planeta y el 70% en América Latina; la minería y la expansión urbana son otras de las causas importantes.

Aunado a la agricultura industrial está el uso indiscriminado de plaguicidas, en la actualidad se fabrican y emplean cada año unos 5,000 millones de toneladas de plaguicidas tóxicos, lo que repercute directamente en la contaminación de los ecosistemas y en la extinción de especies, como por ejemplo las abejas. Un análisis realizado a escala europea publicado por la organización Greenpeace señala que dos terceras partes del polen recolectado por las abejas está contaminado por insecticidas, acaricidas, fungicidas y herbicidas comercializados por las compañías Bayern, Syngenta y Basf. Lo que está provocando la muerte de millones de colmenas.

Las abejas son imprescindibles para la vida del ser humano, de acuerdo a la FAO, existen 100 especies de cultivos que abastecen el 90% de los alimentos del mundo, las abejas polinizan más del 70% de ellos. También, polinizan más de 25.000 especies de plantas con flores. Sin estos insectos la actividad agrícola prácticamente desaparecería, generando consecuencias catastróficas.

Otra forma de cómo el ser humano deteriora la tierra es mediante la generación y disposición inapropiada de una impresionante cantidad de desechos sólidos, al respecto el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente, PNMA establece que en el mundo se producen entre 7,000 y 10,000 millones de toneladas de basura por año y que una gran parte de esta no se dispone adecuadamente, provocando un serio problema de contaminación ambiental y de salud pública.

La quema de combustibles fósiles es otra forma de contaminación ambiental que impacta negativamente en la salud de la población, pero que además junto a la degradación forestal, aumentan la concentración de gases de efecto invernadero en la atmósfera, provocando un peligroso cambio climático que ya ha cobrado miles de vidas y amenaza seriamente la existencia del ser humano.
Lo que le sucede a la tierra, les sucede a las personas, si nos interesa que nuestro planeta siga siendo un lugar habitable es necesario que todos asumamos la responsabilidad de cuidarlo.

earth day 2021 votbFB

EARTH DAY

 
Every April 22nd, International Earth Day is celebrated as an opportune occasion to reflect on what is happening to our planet and raise awareness about the need to drastically change paradigms and individual and collective behaviors that devastate the earth.

The earth is our common home that was formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago, its evolution made possible the conditions for life to emerge, about a billion years later. The ozone layer and the earth’s magnetic field block harmful solar radiation, while the atmosphere retains enough solar energy for a climate and an ideal temperature for life, likewise water and the existence of various physical and chemical processes make life possible for animals and plants, which interact in a dynamic and sustainable balance.

The scientific community estimates that there are 8.7 million species on the planet, of which only 1.3 million have been recorded, which means that approximately 86% of terrestrial species and 91% of marine species are still unknown. While human beings depend on the aforementioned biological wealth; they are the only species in existence actively contributing to its extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “5,200 species of vertebrate animals are in serious danger of disappearing.”

One of the main reasons for this loss of species is deforestation. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 129 million hectares of forest have been eliminated between 1990 and 2016. The reason: large-scale commercial agriculture, which causes 40% of deforestation worldwide and 70% in Latin America, while mining and urban sprawl are other major causes.

Industrial agriculture also brings with it the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Currently, some 5,000 million tons of toxic pesticides are being manufactured and used every year, which has a direct impact on the pollution of ecosystems and the extinction of species, such as bees. An analysis carried out on a European scale published by Greenpeace indicates that two-thirds of the pollen collected by bees is contaminated by insecticides, acaricides, fungicides and herbicides marketed by companies like Bayern, Syngenta and Basf. These companies are causing the death of millions of hives.

Bees matter because they are essential for human life, according to FAO, there are 100 species of crops that supply 90% of the world’s food and bees pollinate more than 70% of them. Bees also pollinate more than 25,000 species of flowering plants. Without these insects, agricultural activity would practically disappear, generating catastrophic consequences.

Another way humans are helping the earth deteriorate is through the generational and inappropriate disposal of impressive amounts of solid waste. The United Nations Environment Program (PNMA) estimates that humans produce between 7,000 and 10,000 million tons of garbage per year and that a large part of it is not disposed of properly, causing serious environmental and public health problems.

The burning of fossil fuels is another form of environmental pollution that negatively impacts the health of the population, but also, together with forest degradation, increases the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, causing dangerous climate change that has already claimed thousands of lives and seriously threatens human existence.

What happens to the earth, happens to the people, if we are interested in our planet continuing to be a habitable one, it is necessary that we all assume the responsibility of taking care of it.

Agua/Aqua, Climate Change, Corruption, Disasters, Economy, El Salvador Government, Environment, Food Security, Water/Agua

El Conflicto por el Agua en El Salvador

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[www.theguardian.com]
READ IN ENGLISH

El 22 de diciembre de 1992 la Asamblea General de Las Naciones Unidas decretó que cada 22 de marzo se celebraría el Día Mundial del Agua, fecha importante porque constituye una oportunidad para aprender sobre el agua y valorar su importancia en la naturaleza y en la sociedad.

En países como El Salvador el Día Mundial del Agua también es una fecha para inspirar la lucha de la sociedad civil por el derecho humano al agua, considerando que se enfrenta una profunda crisis hídrica. Según el Fondo Ambiental de El Salvador, FONAES, es el único país en la región centroamericana que se encuentra cercano a una situación de estrés hídrico, lo que lo sitúa entre los países de Latinoamérica y el Caribe con más baja disponibilidad de agua por habitante.

La principal causa es la destrucción del bosque y la biodiversidad; la tala de zonas boscosas ha sido una práctica sistemática, muchos lugares que producían agua limpia y aire fresco ahora son gruesas capas de asfalto y concreto. Las pocas áreas forestales de El Salvador apenas constituyen el 1% del bosque centroamericano.

Otra causa de la crisis hídrica es la contaminación de los ríos y en general de las fuentes superficiales de agua. Este nivel de degradación de las fuentes, tanto subterráneas como superficiales, tiene que ver con procesos históricos de sobreexplotación de los bienes naturales con fines de acumulación de capital, facilitados por la complicidad o negligencia del Estado.

En la actualidad el agua es motivo de conflicto, porque la poca agua existente la disputan las empresas y las comunidades, tal es el caso del municipio de Nejapa que posee uno de los principales acuíferos del país y que por esta razón empresas como la Coca Cola se ha instalado en el lugar, según la investigadora y activista ambiental Marta Muños la empresa Coca Cola extrae el 15% de toda el agua del municipio, sin pagar ningún tipo de impuesto, lo más lamentable de este caso es que mientras dicha empresa comete este abuso, cientos de familias aledañas a la fabrica embotelladora, no tienen acceso al agua.

Similar situación ocurre con los cultivadores de caña de azúcar en la costa salvadoreña, que instalan potentes motores para extraer del subsuelo cantidades exorbitantes de agua para riego de grandes extensiones del monocultivo, al mismo tiempo que los agricultores carecen de agua para sus pequeñas parcelas.

Esta realidad podría ser diferente de aprobarse una Ley General de Aguas que durante los últimos 15 años diversas organizaciones de la sociedad civil han venido proponiendo y exigiendo; una ley que asegure que la prioridad en el uso del agua sea el consumo de la población y no el negocio de las grandes empresas, pues el acceso al agua es un derecho humano básico, lo que requiere que las decisiones de cómo se gestionan y asignan los bienes hídricos deben ser tomadas por el Estado, teniendo como prioridad el consumo humano y garantizando que aún aquellos que son incapaces de pagar tienen el agua que necesitan para vivir con dignidad.

No obstante, Por mucho tiempo la derecha legislativa y empresarial han maniobrado para promulgar una ley que entregue la gestión del agua a una entidad controlada por intereses privados, lo que equivale a convertir el agua en una mercancía o en todo caso, a designar su uso a medida y conveniencia de la gran empresa privada.
Aunque existen expectativas que los nuevos actores políticos en la Asamblea Legislativa aprueben la Ley General de Aguas, está claro que los grupos de poder no van a desistir de su interés de privatizar el agua. Le corresponde al pueblo estar prevenido y no permitir, que intereses privados se apropien del control del agua.

Según el Foro del Agua existen cinco principios fundamentales que debe comprender una Ley General de Aguas: Garantía del derecho humano al agua; prioridad para el consumo humano y no de las empresas; gestión pública del agua; gestión sustentable de las cuencas hidrográficas; y un régimen económico justo y equitativo.

el-salvador-water-protests
[www.trocaire.org]

Conflict over Water in El Salvador

 

On December 22, 1992, the United Nations General Assembly decreed that every March 22 would be celebrated World Water Day, an important date because it constitutes an opportunity to raise awareness about water and its importance in nature and in society.

In countries like El Salvador, World Water Day is also a date that inspires the civil society to fight for the human right to water, considering that it we are facing a profound water crisis. According to the Environmental Fund of El Salvador (FONAES), this is the only country in the Central American region that is close to a situation of water stress, placing it among the countries in Latin American and Caribbean with the lowest availability of water per inhabitant.

The main cause of this dilema is the destruction of the forest and biodiversity. Because logging has become such a systematic practice, many places that produced clean water and fresh air are now thick layers of asphalt and concrete. The few forest areas in El Salvador make up only 1% of the Central American forest.

The contamination of rivers and in general of surface water sources is another cause of the water crisis. This level of degradation of the few groundwater and surface sources left, has to do with historical processes of overexploitation of natural assets for capital accumulation purposes, facilitated by the complicity or negligence of the State.

Currently, water is a source of conflict in El Salvador because the small amounts of usable water that is left is being disputed by companies and communities. Such is the case of the municipality of Nejapa, which hosts one of the main aquifers in the country and because of this companies such as Coca-Cola have installed their factory there. According to the researcher and environmental activist Marta Muños, the Coca-Cola company extracts 15% of all potable water in the municipality, without paying any type of tax, and yet the most unfortunate thing about this case is that while said company commits this abuse, hundreds of families surrounding the bottling factory don’t have access to water.

A similar situation occurs with industrial sugarcane growers on the Salvadoran coast, who install powerful motors to extract exorbitant amounts of water from the subsoil to irrigate large tracts of monoculture, while at the same time making it impossible for local farmers to maintain their small plots.

This reality could be different however, if the General Water Law, which various civil society organizations have been proposing and demanding over the last 15 years, was approved. This law ensures that the consumption of water by the normal population has priority over the water consumption of large companies. Since access to water is a basic human right, it requires the State to make strategic decisions on how to manage and assign water assets and ensuring that even those who are unable to pay have the water they need to live with dignity.

Unfortunately for normal Salvadorans, for a long time the legislative and business right have maneuvered to enact a law that hands over water management to an entity controlled by private interests, which is equivalent to converting water into a commodity or, in any case, to restrict its use. to measure and convenience of the large private company.

Although there are expectations that the new political actors in the Legislative Assembly will approve the General Water Law, it is clear that their are powerful entities behind the scenes that are not going to give up their interest in privatizing water easily. It is the responsibility of the people to be forewarned and to not allow private interests to take control of the water.

According to the Water Forum, there are five fundamental principles that a General Water Law must include: Ensuring the human right to water; Prioritizing water for human consumption and not for companies; Proper public water management; Sustainable management of hydrographic basins; and a fair and equitable economic regime.