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Chromite mining in Salcedo and killing of activist Francisco Canayoung, Philippines

Philippine anti-mining activist Francisco Canayoung was murdered after opposing chromite mining in Salcedo, Eastern Samar, which drastically destroys the health of local communities and the environment.


Extensive small-scale legal and illegal chromite mining in Salcedo, Eastern Samar, has provoked rampant human rights abuses, while substantially destroying the local environment [1]. Conflicts between mining companies and local anti-mining activists exacerbated on May 1, 2012, when community leader Francisco P. Canayoung was murdered by a suspect, alleged to be employed by the Terrestrial Mining Corporation (TMC), one of the three mining companies active in the region [2]. Canayoung opposed mining activities in Barangay Carapdapan, due to the devastating negative health and environmental impacts on the community [3].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict: Chromite mining in Salcedo and killing of activist Francisco Canayoung, Philippines
State or province:Eastern Samar
(municipality or city/town)Salcedo
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Tailings from mines
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Chromite ore
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Chromite mining in Salcedo is composed of a network of several legal and illegal small-scale miners, which extract chromite ore over a large area and sell it to larger companies. Since this is an uncontrolled and partly illegal network, no concrete numbers on amount of production were found.

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Project area:>2,800ha
Level of Investment:unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:unknown
Start of the conflict:15/07/2005
Company names or state enterprises:Terrestrial Mining Company (formerly Jerry M. Lanoy) (TMC) from Philippines - mining
Yinshu Mining Corporation from China - mining
Exotic Treasure Collection Mining Corporation - mining
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Carapdapan Movement for Development Association Inc. (CAMADA); Carapdapan Land Owners Association (CLOA); Barangay Integrated Upland Farmers Assocaition of Salcedo (BIUFAS); Task Force Salcedo.
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Religious groups
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Other Health impacts
Potential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents
Other Health impactsChild labour
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsChild labour
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
On May 1, 2012 community leader Francisco P. Canayoung was murdered
Development of alternatives:Local associations campaign to stop mining and related health and environmental impacts.

Other associations, also at the national level, demand a proper investigation of the murder of Mr. Canayoung, and governmental assistance against the harassment of local groups by the mining industry [1].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Mining activities and intimidations go on.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[click to view]

Executive Order No. 79 (July 2012) Institutionalizing And Implementing Reforms In The Philippine Mining Sector Providing Policies And Guidelines To Ensure Environmental Protection And Responsible Mining In The Utilization Of Mineral Resources
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. 2012. Mining Rush in Salcedo, Eastern Samar Rakes Up Violence and Social Conflicts [July 24-27, 2012]. Fact Finding Mission Report.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Asian Human Rights Commission (4/07/2012): PHILIPPINES: Murdered mining activist knew he and two others would be killed. (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[3] FIDH - Worldwide Human Rights Movement (20/06/2012): The Philippines: assassination, death threats and intimidation of environmental activist. (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[4] GMANEWS online (20/10/2012): "Church groups lament LGU failure to enforce law in E. Samar's mining-hit areas" (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[5] GMANEWS online (10/12/2012): "Chromite rush in Samar: Hard labor for P2 a kilo" (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[6] The Bulletin Today (8/09/2013): "Mining operations prompt Eastern Samar town of Salcedo for environmental summit" (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[7] Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Republic of the Philippines (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

Caritas, Death of an activist: killings of environmentalists mount in Philippines
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video "Chromite kids" on child labour in chromite mining
[click to view]

Other documents

Child labour in chromite ore mining Source:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim.scheidel "at"
Last update29/03/2015