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.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Main Indigenous Organizations Join Anti-Mining Movement

From DECOIN, Monday, September 24, 2007



In the city of Loja, on Tuesday September 18 this year, by invitation of CONAIE, ECUARUNARI, CONFENIAE, Coordinators for the Defence of the Life of the Pangui, The Encuentros, Yantzaza, a great coming together of the social organizations for the defense of life and against industrial large-scale mining was carried out, bringing together the provinces Morona Santiago, Zamora Chinchipe, Azuay, Loja and El Oro> The resolutions were as follows:


a) The country and the southern region especially are undergoing a process of aggressive mining occupation that is happening through the granting of concessions of great areas to
in order to develop the exploration for and exploitation of metallic minerals.

b) The great majority of these concessions have been awarded to transnational companies for the exploitation of diverse types of metals.

c) The presence at the moment of these transnational companies has caused serious social problems in specific sites of intervention; at the moment the most evident signs of it are the criminalisation of protest, the persecution of social leaders, the division of the
indigenous peoples and campesino communities; finally, serious environmental impacts have already taken place in the phases of exploration of these mega projects.

d) The mining occupation is not concentrated in the south of the county, but includes all the nation and the great majority of Latin American people.

e) The answer to this serious threat that affects the land, collective rights, the water tables, biodiversity, the agricultural and cattle production in all the continent, has always been social organisation.

f) The national organisations, such as CONAIE, Ecuarunari, as well as many of the grass-roots organisations of five provinces have been demonstrating against large-scale mining; at the moment, they are in diverse levels of organisation, and different fronts of resistance have already been constructed against mining, as well as in support of life and water.

g) Thanks to social mobilisation the activity of some companies has been suspended, among them Ecuacorrientes; nevertheless this company continues operating. At the moment, through the Ecuasambito company, it is investigating the construction of a copper port, in the city of Machala in Port Bolivar; where a Citizen's Council has been constituted and together with its member organisations has pronounced in favor of the definitive suspension of the project Copper Port, in Port Bolivar.

h) At level of the Latin American countries the respnses are similar, and since the intervention of the mining transnational companies is more established, the organisational processes are more mature. In Peru, on the 16 of September a great local consultation was carried out where the population decided through individual secret ballots whether it accepts large-scaled mining. A sweeping triumph was obtain of NO to mining in Ayabaca Peru. The government of the country tries to delegitimise this process; and that

i) The country is in the midst of a process to constitute a new Constituent Assembly, that will write up the new Constitution for the country. CONAIE has summoned a great national mobilisation to give to the civil society, as well as to the elected members of the assembly, a mandate for the Assembly, on October 12, 2007.


a) To send the social mandate of the southern region of the country towards the next constituent assembly, whose central elements are:
i. Strategic nationalization of natural resources at the moment yielded without a benefit to the transnational mining companies.
ii. To declare Ecuador free of large-scale mining
iii. To make a main policy of state, tied with the fields and the rural regions of the country, food sovereignty and the creation of a shared common ecological economy, that allows equitable and renewable use of the natural resources of the region and the country.

b) To immediately demand the suspension of mining activities, and all connected projects, like the Copper Port , as well as all the granting of new concessions in the country and in the southern region especially.

c) To demand the elimination of the criminalisation of the protest, as well as the anullment of the judgments against the leaders of the social resistance.

d) That the Armed Forces return to their role of defending the national sovereignty and that an investigation is made on the concessions of the DINE and members of the Armed Forces, mainly in the zones of conflict, for later cancellation.

e) To declare the southern region of Ecuador in a state of permanent mobilisation, which means:
i. To socialise and to sensitise the population to the actual and potential
problematic socio-environmental effects of mining occupation on a large scale.
ii. To develop the social mandate for the Assembly, including a democratic discussion on problems of small-scale mining.
iii. To strengthen social organisation and the mobilisation of the southern population of the country.

f) To form the Southern Resistance Front, with regional platforms that allow the articulation and carrying-out of social organising in order to recover sovereignty and to validate an option of development based on solidarity, fairness, and the sustainable use, in perpetuity, of the strategic natural resources.

g) To call for the unity of the process of resistance at a national level and to strengthen alliances with different local and national organisations, who face harassment (attack) from the transnational companies.

h) To support and to congratulate the peoples of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, whose delegations were present in the encounter of Loja, for their respective processes of resistance. To congratulate the town of Ayabaca for the historical triumph of the 16 of September at the ballot box.

i) To accompany the peaceful mobilisation by the CONAIE on the 12 by October to the city of Quito to present to the national our demands.

j) It designates Omar Burneo, of UV television, as coordinator of
the Southern Resistance Front.

Omar Burneo


Signatory organisations:

1. Social Organisations:

A NIVEL NACIONAL: CONAIE, Ecuarunari, Confeniae


EL ORO: Comite Cavio de Desarrollo de Puerto Bolivar

ZAMORA CHINCHIPE: Comite de defensa de la Vida del Pangui, los Encuentros, Yantzaza, Asociacion Shuar del Pangui

MORONA SANTIAGO: Comite de defensa de la Vida de Limon, de Gualaquiza, Asociacion Shuar de Bomboiza, Comite por defensa de la vida de Gualaquiza

AZUAY: Comite de Defensa de Pucara, Frente de mujeres de Pucara,

LOJA: Federacion de Comunas de Loja, Ecuarunari, Fupocps

2. Mayors present:

Benito Suquisupa, Alcalde de Yantzaza

Franklin Mejia, Alcalde de Gualaquiza

Marcos Barrezueta , Alcalde de Pucara

3. Support organisations:

Accion Ecologica



Arco Iris

Universidad Nacional de Loja


Casa de la Cultura del Oro

No comments:

Post a Comment