Action Alert! Student Anti-Mining Activist Disappeared in El Salvador

Tell the Attorney General and the Minister of Public Security to Open an Investigation TODAY!

“Two years after the kidnapping and murder of anti-mining activist Marcelo Rivera, those responsible for his death continue to do as they please while prosecutors and the police continue with false assumptions and inadequate investigations.”Communiqué from the Environmental Committee of Cabañas for the Defense of Water and Culture (CAC)

As a result of this impunity, another case of violence has arisen – the disappearance of Juan Francisco Duran Ayala.  Thirty year-old Juan Francisco is a member of the CAC and was last seen over a week ago in the city of Ilobasco, Cabañas, putting up flyers and banners against mining and the Canadian mining company Pacific Rim as part of a CAC campaign. The CAC reports that the mayor of Ilobasco, Eliseo Castellano ordered members of the municipal police to remove the banners and intimidate the activists hanging them.

Juan Francisco´s father Benjamin Ayala Flores is the Coordinator of the FMLN war veterans association. He lives in Ilobasco and his dream is to see his son graduate with a degree in languages from the Technological University, where Juan Francisco has been studying for over three years.

Join the CAC and the family of Juan Francisco in calling on the Attorney General’s Office and the Civilian National Police (PNC) to conduct a thorough and exhaustive investigation into all the cases of violence towards community leaders in Cabañas and to specifically set up a task force to investigate the disappearance of Juan Francisco.  The CAC demands that the investigations look for ties between this case of violence and local mayors José Ignacio Bautista, Edgar Bonilla and Eliseo Castellano as well as any ties to the mining company Pacific Rim.


1. If you speak Spanish, please also call Salvadoran Attorney General Romeo Barahona at 011-503- 2230-6350 (see sample script below).

2. Email the Attorney General Romeo Barahona and Minister of Justice and Security Manuel Melgar to demand a full investigation and protection for the victims.

Call Script for Attorney General Barahona(direct number for his assistant, Héctor Burgos: 011-503-2230-6350)

Buenos (días/tardes),

Mi nombre es _______ y llamo para expresar mi preocupación sobre la desaparición de Juan Francisco Duran Ayala y la violencia contra líderes sociales en Cabañas. 

Urge una investigación profunda sobre la desaparición del Señor Duran Ayala con un equipo especializado, y así también es necesario re-abrir los casos de Marcelo Rivera, Dora Alicia Sorto y Ramiro Rivera para investigar vínculos entre estos caso, los asesinatos de Darwin Serrano y Gerardo Abrego León, las nuevas amenazas contra el personal de Radio Victoria y la desaparición del Señor Duran Ayala.

El hecho de que la violencia y amenazas anteriores quedaron en impunidad ha permitido que surgieran los nuevos hechos de violencia. Pido que el Fiscal General tome las medidas necesarias para asegurar justicia y protección para las y los afectados.