MAC/20: Mines and Communities

OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF MINING AND ENERGY

Published by MAC on 2007-03-12

OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF MINING AND ENERGY

The National Coordination for the Defense of Life and Sovereignty is asking for measures to be taken urgently regarding two problems: Transnational mining firms and the Hidroabanico hydroelectric project.

Quito

12th March 2007

To: Economist Alberto Acosta
Minister of Mining and Energy

We consider that:

By means of this letter we would to offer you greetings on behalf of all the organizations, communities and local governments members of the NATIONAL COORDINATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF LIFE AND SOVEREIGNTY.

Mr. Minister, we have already had several meetings in which we have expressed the demands that we, as representatives of different sectors, have been directed to communicate to you. We have expressed to you that our communities demand a response in the face of the state of social conflict generated by the presence of the transnational mining companies, and by the presence of the Hidroabanico hydroelectric project in Morona Santiago.

In the march in Cuenca of February 26, the 6,000 representatives of different parts of the country announced the beginning of measures carried out on a national level until we are able to see that our demands are heard.

The events that occurred this past Wednesday March 7 in Limón Indanza support our words: The communities need an urgent, and above all, a favorable response to our petitions. If not, then we will see ourselves plunged into a worse and worse stepping-up of violence, being that the companies continue to act with the same violence and arrogance in their attempt to install a regime of terror and a war against local reactions.

We must make it very clear, Mr. Minister, that the National Coordination and its participants do not have any relation to the events which took place in the Limón canton; our actions have and will continue to be public and peaceful. However, within one of our provinces, the reactions of other sectors of the population have turned uncontrollable due to the popular outrage of citizens who have witnessed the indifference and disdain displayed by local, provincial and national authorities.

On the other hand, we want to inform you that the pro-mining sector has publicly announced (La Hora newspaper, March 10, 2007) unilateral actions to carry out direct operations in the area of Intag, which would provoke yet more confrontations with the community, with lamentable results.

Finally we would like to say that on March 22, the International Day of Water, various delegations of the NATIONAL COORDINATION will come to Quito to personally receive your response. We would kindly like to request an appointment in your office in the morning of March 22.

We attach to this a report of the events which have taken place in Limón-Indanze (Morona Santiago) and a copy of the announcement of de facto measures to be taken by the pro-mining sector.

Sincerely,
Sixto León
for the NATIONAL COORDINATION
email: coor_nacionaldvs@yahoo.es

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