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

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The David and Goliath story of ordinary people in El Salvador who rallied together with international allies to prevent a global mining corporation from poisoning the country's main water source In a time when countless communities are resisting powerful corporations-from Flint, Michigan, to the Standing Rock Reservation, to Didipio, Philippines, to the Gualcarque River in The David and Goliath story of ordinary people in El Salvador who rallied together with international allies to prevent a global mining corporation from poisoning the country's main water source In a time when countless communities are resisting powerful corporations-from Flint, Michigan, to the Standing Rock Reservation, to Didipio, Philippines, to the Gualcarque River in Honduras--The Water Defenders presents the inspirational story of a community that took on Big Gold at seemingly insurmountable odds and won two historic victories. In the early 2000s, many people in El Salvador were at first excited by the prospect of jobs, progress, and prosperity that the Pacific Rim mining company promised. However, farmer Vidalina Morales and brothers Marcelo and Miguel Rivera soon discovered that the river system that supplies water to the majority of Salvadorans was in danger of catastrophic contamination. With a group of unlikely allies, both local and global, they committed to stop the corporation and the destruction of their home. Based on over a decade of research and their own role as international allies of the community groups in El Salvador, Robin Broad and John Cavanagh unspool this untold story, replete with corporate greed; a transnational lawsuit at a secretive World Bank tribunal in Washington, DC; violent threats; murders; and, surprisingly, victory. The husband-and-wife duo immerses the reader in the lives of the Salvadoran villagers, the journeys of the local activists who sought the truth about the effects of gold mining on the environment, and the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of the corporate mining executives. The Water Defenders demands that we examine our assumptions about progress and prosperity, while providing valuable lessons for other communities and allies fighting against destructive corporations in the United States and across the world.


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The David and Goliath story of ordinary people in El Salvador who rallied together with international allies to prevent a global mining corporation from poisoning the country's main water source In a time when countless communities are resisting powerful corporations-from Flint, Michigan, to the Standing Rock Reservation, to Didipio, Philippines, to the Gualcarque River in The David and Goliath story of ordinary people in El Salvador who rallied together with international allies to prevent a global mining corporation from poisoning the country's main water source In a time when countless communities are resisting powerful corporations-from Flint, Michigan, to the Standing Rock Reservation, to Didipio, Philippines, to the Gualcarque River in Honduras--The Water Defenders presents the inspirational story of a community that took on Big Gold at seemingly insurmountable odds and won two historic victories. In the early 2000s, many people in El Salvador were at first excited by the prospect of jobs, progress, and prosperity that the Pacific Rim mining company promised. However, farmer Vidalina Morales and brothers Marcelo and Miguel Rivera soon discovered that the river system that supplies water to the majority of Salvadorans was in danger of catastrophic contamination. With a group of unlikely allies, both local and global, they committed to stop the corporation and the destruction of their home. Based on over a decade of research and their own role as international allies of the community groups in El Salvador, Robin Broad and John Cavanagh unspool this untold story, replete with corporate greed; a transnational lawsuit at a secretive World Bank tribunal in Washington, DC; violent threats; murders; and, surprisingly, victory. The husband-and-wife duo immerses the reader in the lives of the Salvadoran villagers, the journeys of the local activists who sought the truth about the effects of gold mining on the environment, and the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of the corporate mining executives. The Water Defenders demands that we examine our assumptions about progress and prosperity, while providing valuable lessons for other communities and allies fighting against destructive corporations in the United States and across the world.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    B.

    I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. It's well written and it is engaging. While some sections did have a tendency to drag on, the story is succinctly described without the need for additional research on the part of the reader (unless so desired). I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. It's well written and it is engaging. While some sections did have a tendency to drag on, the story is succinctly described without the need for additional research on the part of the reader (unless so desired).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Faith O'Malley

    Disclaimer - I won this book through a Goodreads contest. This book tells the story of how the people of El Salvador we’re able to stand up to a major global corporation and win, despite all the odds. This story is a real page-turner even though you go into the book understanding the outcome. It tells the story of the brilliant organizing the activists did, introduced an international court system that many of us know nothing about, and centered the story on how regular people pulled off this in Disclaimer - I won this book through a Goodreads contest. This book tells the story of how the people of El Salvador we’re able to stand up to a major global corporation and win, despite all the odds. This story is a real page-turner even though you go into the book understanding the outcome. It tells the story of the brilliant organizing the activists did, introduced an international court system that many of us know nothing about, and centered the story on how regular people pulled off this incredible feat. This book will make you angry at the systems we’ve created that our corporate interests over the basic human rights of people and it will inspire you to think differently about your community and how to solve problems.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ietrio

    A twisted ode of colonialism: how the advanced Whites have helped the primitive and helpless Brown people from stupidly destroying their own environment. In the end the story turns out not to be about those people, but about glorifying Western bureaucrats like Broad: pay your taxes because Broad expects to hire more nieces and nephews on good wages just as his.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Terry Earley

    requested ebook 3-22-2021 interview theworld.org

  5. 4 out of 5

    Giselle

    The book was engaging and well documented. It's a fast-paced read that presents you with lively and profound real-life-characters who teach you a lot about what we can do to protect the environment. The book was engaging and well documented. It's a fast-paced read that presents you with lively and profound real-life-characters who teach you a lot about what we can do to protect the environment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    I won this book in a giveaway. A timely and compelling case study on the Water is Life movement in El Salvador. However, it seems like the authors couldn’t decide if they were writing for the general public, or for a more academic audience.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deena B

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sue Manthei

  10. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Tucker

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

  12. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lise

  14. 4 out of 5

    Seongkyul

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily Sternlicht

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Carpenter

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  21. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fleet Sparrow

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  24. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bettye Short

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  28. 4 out of 5

    AC

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jen Schlott

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  31. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  32. 4 out of 5

    Teri

  33. 5 out of 5

    Tarah Luke

  34. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  35. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

  36. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  37. 5 out of 5

    Radzi

  38. 4 out of 5

    Steve Kemp

  39. 5 out of 5

    Liz Miller

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