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On October 14th, a US foundation, Defend them All (DTA) , sent an open letter to Canadian mining company INV Metals urging the company to abandon its activities in Ecuador following a field visit to the Kimsakocha páramo in south-central Ecuador. DTA is a non-profit organization with offices in the USA and Canada which is “dedicated to improving the legal protections of animals and the environment.” It writes that it has been cataloguing and evaluating the impacts of the project since 2015, and sees the project as posing a grave risk to endangered animal and plant species, as well as...
Since October 2, Indigenous organizations, along with trade unions, social movements and peasant organizations, have been demonstrating across Ecuador against a set of economic austerity measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international lending institutions that have resulted in: increases of up to 120 percent in fuel prices; labour reforms that undermine labour protections in Ecuador, such as turning good private sector employment into precarious jobs, and the downward “harmonization” of wages resulting in a 20 percent cut in wages for new hires in the public...
Since October 2, Indigenous organizations, along with trade unions, social movements and peasant organizations have been demonstrating across Ecuador against a set of economic austerity measures (called the Paquetazo) imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international lending institutions that have resulted in increases of up to 120% in fuel prices; labour reforms that seriously undermine worker protections in Ecuador, such as job precarization, a downward “harmonization” of wages resulting in a 20% cut for new contracts in public sector jobs; and imposition of extractive projects (mining, oil, and gas) in a misdirected effort to solve the debt crisis. These mobilizations are indicative of a broad, decades-long opposition of Indigenous and campesino communities in particular to the imposition of extractive projects in their territories.
On September 6th, the Institute for Policy Studies and Earthworks released a report (attached to this post) with worrisome conclusions regarding the ongoing consultation process around Canadian mining company Pan American Silver's Escobal mine. In May 2019, the Xinca Parliament denounced a increased tension and provocation around the mine following the company's controversial acquisition of Tahoe Resources. This most recent report demonstrates that not only has the tension continued to augment, but the Guatemalan government is attempting to completely sideline the Xinca from the process. A...
MiningWatch expresses growing concern for the “State of Exception” (State of Emergency) declared by Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno on October 3rd which seeks to grant exceptional powers to the police and military forces to repress Indigenous and civil society mobilizations against the so-called “ paquetazo ” (package) of austerity measures. The elimination of government subsidies to gasoline and diesel last week was the last straw in a series of economic austerity measures which seek to “open” Ecuador to foreign investment as mandated by the International Monetary Fund, the Interamerican...
Author: Carlos Zorilla. To the human eye, the mostly dark-green Confusing Rocket Frog is not as attractive as the Harlequin Longnose Frog. Both amphibians are found in a patch of forest in Ecuador’s Intag region and nowhere else on the planet. The Harlequin’s discovery in 2016 was amazing enough, since the it hadn’t been seen since 1989 (the IUCN still lists it as extinct). But, even so, quite a bit was known about it. Being endemic to an area which today is threatened by a large-scale copper mining project, the Harlequin shares the same potential fate as the much rarer Confusing Rocket Frog, which was rediscovered in August of 2019. The finding, by Ecuador’s Jambatu Center , is so recent, that nothing has been written up in journals yet*.
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Community organizer and MiningWatch Canada cofounder, Joan Kuyek, is launching a new book on September 12, 2019: Unearthing Justice: How To Protect Your Community From the Mining Industry. "Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love." – Between the Lines Editor Order your copy online from Between the Lines (available starting on September 12,...
Teztan Biny (Fish Lake).
The new federal Impact Assessment Act , previously known as Bill C-69, came into force at 12:01 this morning. We should be celebrating, but it's hard to cheer too enthusiastically when the law is so much less than it should have been. We worked intensely for three years, with experts and grassroots people across the country, to try to create a leading-edge impact assessment regime – one that would let communities, Indigenous peoples, and government make thoughtful and well-informed decisions about the sustainability of industrial development projects in the face of biodiversity,...
The Shuar Arutam People Have Decided: No to Mining, We Do Not Want to Be Consulted. Through several meetings in different communities, we have met in order to analyze a response to the systematic violation of our collective rights by the State and the mining companies that have been operating in our ancestral territory. Faced with this situation, we exercise of our right to self-determination, which recognizes our power to determine our present and future. Since the entry of mining companies in our ancestral territory without our consent has generated great impacts on our way of life, we have decided the following:
On August 19 th , 2019 members of Mariano Abarca’s family, along with supporting Mexican organizations, held a press conference in San Cristobal de las Casas to denounce the 10 th anniversary of impunity for Mariano’s murder and announce their decision to use their right to appeal the Federal Court of Canada’s recent decision to not order the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner to investigate the acts and omissions of the Canadian embassy in Mexico leading up to Mariano’s murder. At the press conference they played a video of Mariano's historic speech which he delivered in front of the...