On Monday, February 6, hundreds of Ecuadorians from different mining-affected communities, including those from 22 communities in the Intag area, came to Quito to express their rejection of mining activities carried out in their territories. Other residents of the Pacto area, north-west of the country, as well as a group of women from the embattled Cordillera del Condor, took advantage of the event by setting up an agro-ecological fair to offer the people of Quito their agricultural and handicraft products and to show the world the great variety of products that the lands threatened by large-scale mining produce. (See photos here http://bit.ly/2lAIcuv).
From 11.30 am, protesters marched along Boulevard Los Chyris to Avenida Amazonas, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the capital, in order to deliver letters similar to the one below to the embassies of Canada and China. The organizers included seven organizations from Quito, who vowed to keep resisting the imposition of the mining agenda on Ecuador
Below is the content of the letter
Quito February 6, 2017
Embassy of the Republic of Chile in Ecuador
Office of the Ambassador
As you know, the mining project today known as Llurimagua has become a conflict of international scope due to the constant violations of fundamental rights of the residents of the communities of JUNIN and CHALGUAYCU ALTO, among others. These abuses, as it is public knowledge, include the arrest without court order of the president of the community of Junín and his imprisonment for 10 months without sentence, also the occupation of communal territories by Codelco and ENAMI and its subcontractors that without authorization of the communities, whom have used these territories for about two decades. This presence, to date, has caused social and environmental impacts and negatively impacted the community tourism carried out by dozens of families in the sector.
In our opinion, due to its position as official representative of the economic and international interests of its country and because the mining company is owned by the Chilean State, the Embassy of Chile should assume a share of responsibility for the conflicts caused.
We hope that the Embassy will fulfill its duty and ensure that the companies from Chile do not commit any more human rights violations in Ecuador, since these repeated violations have unfortunately worsened relations of the two countries peoples in the past few years.
It should be noted that the mining activities currently being carried out within the Llurimagua mining concession violate the Environmental License granted for said concession. We reiterate that these activities are being financed by the Chilean government through its Chilean copper company CODELCO. To these it should be added that the community has never been consulted, which violates the right to consultation enshrined in the Constitution of Ecuador.
Due to the social upheaval a product of the incursion of the mining projects in our area the communities have rejected two transnational companies since 1997 and we do not doubt that they will continue to reject any other company that tries to impose itself, trampling rights, usurping private and community properties, and with deceit and lies as is currently the case.
For all of the above, we demand that your government stop funding the advanced exploration project Llurimagua until the Environmental License, Environmental Management Plan is complied with, as well as other pertinent laws and Constitutional rights that protect communities and nature, and above all,that everything, that the true wishes of the communities is respected.
Signatures of representatives from Communities and social organizations below