Back to top
Santos Neftali Ruíz Martínez

Santos Neftali Ruíz Martínez

HRD, President
Comité Ambiental de Cabañas – CAC

Padre Santos Neftali Ruíz Martínez is a community organizer, anti-mining activist and human rights defender in Cabañas, El Salvador. He has been attacked and faces ongoing threats because of his human rights work.

Father Neftalí is the President of the Comité Ambiental de Cabañas – CAC (Environmental Committee of Cabañas), an organisation which works to educate the community about the health and environmental risks of cyanide contamination as a result of gold mining operations. Father Santos Neftalí Ruíz Martínez was also a participant at the Front Line Defenders Sixth Dublin Platform in September 2011.

El Salvador

The human rights defender community is regularly subjected to campaigns of defamation - they are labeled as 'traitors of the nation', 'terrorists' and 'subversive'. This tactic employed by the authorities is designed to discredit and undermine the work of human rights defenders by isolating and marginalising them, making them a vulnerable target for abuse. Community leaders and environmental activists who are opposed to large-scale mining projects face death threats and violence.


Santos Neftali Ruiz Martinez Testimony at 2011 Dublin Platform