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The open-pit mining project could affect the Lempa, the longest river in Central America.
On Wednesday, residents of Asuncion Mita in Guatemala and Salvadoran environmentalists protested against Cerro Blanco, an open-pit mining project located in the Guatemalan area of Jutiapa near the border with El Salvador.
On January 18, the Canadian company Bluestone Resources announced that the Guatemalan Environment Ministry authorized the change of its license from underground mining to open-pit mining.
Social organizations from both countries, however, maintain that this form of mining will irremediably affect the Lempa River, Lake Güija, and other water sources in the area.
Salvadoran and Guatemalan organizations requested authorities from both countries to classify this mining project as illegal and unfeasible. Peter Arrieta, a Guatemalan resident of Asuncion Mita, stated that Cerro Blanco is not an environmentally responsible project.
"That's not true. We all know that responsible mining does not exist," he emphasized, adding that entrepreneurs often deny their responsibility when environmental damage appears.
He also pointed out that mining exploitation in that area would only lead to the destruction of ecosystems and water pollution in both countries.