The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed

The people of El Salvador at first welcomed the idea of bringing an international gold mining corporation to their country in the early 2000s. Pacific Rim Mining Corporation’s presence meant jobs and economic opportunities on the horizon. But when some farmers discovered the company’s operations would contaminate the river that provided most Salvadorans with water, they banded together with people from around the world to stop the mining. Overcoming threats and danger, the local activists were eventually victorious against corporate greed. Broad and Cavanagh tell the story from their decade of research among Salvadoran villagers, environmental activities and the forces driving the mining operations.

Winner of the 2021 Juan E. Méndez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, which honors the best current nonfiction book published in English on human rights, democracy and social justice in contemporary Latin America.