Nearly two years ago, he lost two fingers because he opposed a Canadian-owned gold mine in Cantina Trinidad, El Salvador. Yesterday, Jose Santos Rodriguez lost his wife, some say for the same reason.
Dora Alicia Sorto Recinos, 32, was shot and killed yesterday at 3:30 pm when she was returning home from doing laundry in a nearby river. She was eight months pregnant. Her son, who was accompanying her, was shot in the foot.
Santos Rodriguez is a farmer and active member of the Environmental Committee of Cabanas (CAC), a citizen group in opposition to Pacific Rim's proposed El Dorado gold mine. In April, 2008, he was attacked by Oscar Menjivar, a neighbour who had relationships with local mayors who supported the mine. In the attack, Menjivar cut off two of Santos Rodriguez' fingers with a machete.
According to a press release by Movimiento Unificado Francisco Sánchez-1932 (MUFRAS-32), Sorto Recinos had recently informed MUFRAS-32 that men with rifles had come to her house, looking for her husband. He was not home at the time.
The assassination of Sorto Recinos is the second murder this week of an opponent to Pacific Rim's proposed El Dorado mine, and the latest in a string of assassinations of civilian opponents to Canadian mining projects in Latin America.
Ramiro Rivera Gomez was shot and killed on December 20, in spite of 24-hour police protection.
MUFRAS-32 says the community is most alarmed by the lack of police investigation into these crimes. There have been no arrests for Rivera Gomez' assassination, and the community sees only "the most serious lack of will in discovering the causes of these murders," according to the release.