Ecuador's Constitutional Court Upholds Suspension of Mining in Kimsakocha

Acción Ecológica

Originally posted in Spanish here.

ALERT! Victory for Kimsakocha!
The Constitutional Court of Ecuador ratifies that Kimsakocha should be free from mining

Quito, February 08, 2024

In a historic ruling issued on February 7, 2024, the [Constitutional] Court [of Ecuador] rejected arguments made by the President of the Republic and the Ministry of the Environment regarding the application for Protective Measures (2785-23-EP) given they did not comply with established legal requirements. This ruling confirms that the case is closed and that any efforts to mine in Kimsakocha must comply with the [rights associated with] prior consultation, environmental consultation, and obtain the social licence of affected communities.

Environmental defenders have denounced a disinformation campaign by the mining company, carried out on the main radio stations in Cuenca and in the communities near the Loma Larga project. This campaign seeks to manipulate the population by presenting mining in a falsely positive light and criminalizing those who oppose it – including three community members and a priest who support the struggle to protect water and who are at risk of going to jail.

The Constitutional Court ruling follows a favourable decision issued in August 2023 by the Provincial Court of Justice of Azuay, which suspended Dundee Precious Metals’ Loma Larga mining project. This victory is the result of more than 25 years of struggle for the protection of water and nature.

In the face of any attempt by the mining company and the Ecuadorian government to continue mining in Kimsakocha, the organizations have announced that they will file a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The strength and perseverance of the organizations have made this legal victory possible, setting an important precedent for the defense of human rights and nature in Ecuador.

Acción Ecológica