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Gold and silver mining in Cerro Blanco (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras)


Situated about 153 kilometres (95 miles) east of Guatemala City, Cerro Blanco is in Asuncion Mita, Jutiapa. Asuncion Mita covers an area of 174 hectares (429 acres) and is 45 minutes from the border with El Salvador and Honduras. The mining project is located in the Trifinio Biosphere Reserve that covers a 221-kilometre (137-mile) area on the Guatemalan side of the Montecristo Massif. It was created by Government Resolution 939-87 on 19 October 1987 to protect the Montecristo Cloud Forest and its flora and fauna, concurrently with the Montecristo National Park in El Salvador, the Biosphere Reserve La Fraternidad in Guatemala and the Montecristo Trifinio National Park in Honduras (CNPT, 2011).

The Montecristo Protected Area is home to three main watersheds in Central America (Lempa, UlĂșa and Motagua) and boasts a unique biodiversity. The mining project poses a threat to this particularly valuable natural area, which is one motive for the conflict; local, national, and international opposition to it has been strong. Civil society organisations in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador reject governmental intentions to allow mining projects in Cerro Blanco.

Click here for the factsheet (3 pages): FS_005_Cerro_Blanco

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