In This Review

The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country From Corporate Greed
The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country From Corporate Greed
By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
Beacon Press, 2021, 211 pp
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In this gripping page-turner, Broad and Cavanagh narrate the uplifting story of how a global coalition of environmental activists, labor unions, and religious leaders blocked a Canadian firm from opening a gold mine that threatened fragile watersheds in rural El Salvador. In 2017, this coalition persuaded El Salvador’s legislature to unanimously pass a bill banning metallic mining—the world’s first such countrywide ban. El Salvador persuaded the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes to rule against the mining firm’s bid to open operations in the country. Broad and Cavanagh offer a practical David-versus-Goliath playbook for those who would mobilize both domestic and international forces to halt corporate abuses and to place the long-term welfare of communities above short-term financial gain. The authors trace stirring portraits of a diverse cast of courageous leaders who fought together to protect their corner of the planet.