The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ecuadorean villagers block roads to protest mining

By Alonso Soto QUITO, June 5 (Reuters) -
Hundreds of villagers on Tuesday blocked roads with burning tires and rubble in southern Ecuador to demand the government suspend all mining concessions to protect the Andean country's environment.
Local television images showed protesters, mostly Indian peasants dressed in colorful woven skirts, standing next to burning tires and shouting "No more mining in our land."
"We want the government to scrap and take over all mining concessions to protect our environment," Sixto Leon, a spokesman of the protesters, told Reuters. "We will not go home until the government answers us."
Jorge Jurado, Deputy Minister for Mining, said government officials are in talks with protesters, but cannot cede to their demands.
"It's impossible to scrap all mining concessions," Jurado told Reuters. "We are are analyzing suspending concessions that have been badly managed and hurtful to some communities."
Ecuador lacks significant production of precious metals, but Canadian companies such as Corriente Resources and Aurelian Resources Inc. have started exploring for gold and copper. Their shares have fallen after reports that Ecuador would take a hard stance on mining.
The government has said it wants to revise its mining concessions and introduce royalties in the sector.
Ecuador has handed out 4,112 concessions, or around 2 million hectares of which only 16.6 percent are currently in production.
President Rafael Correa, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has vowed to rework foreign oil contracts and boost state control over the country's natural resources.

No comments:

Post a Comment