MAC: Mines and Communities


Published by MAC on 2007-05-22


Announcement of Ecuador National Uprising Against Mining and Hydroelectric Operations


Press Bulletin of the National Coordination for the Defense of Life and Sovereignty

Ecuador, 22 May, 2007


Considering that today the activities of mining transnationals and private hydroelectric operations are causing social conflicts, threatening the life and environment, displacing communities, appropriating vast amounts of territories, water, biodiversity, and are threatening the security and food sovereignty of the Ecuadorian people. That the national territory, the rivers and basins have been put under pressure, and we find ourselves confronted by a true invasion of transnational mining and private hydroelectric operations.

That previous administrations have handed over on a silver platter our natural resources to the voracity of private firms and transnational corporations. That the Ecuadorian people have observed in the government of Rafael Correa the possibility that our patrimony can truly return to be ours and that the violations committed in anterior administrations be punished.

That the Minister of Mining and Energy recognized that 99% of the mining concessions granted were done without the previous consultation as required by the Constitution.

That the Minister of Mining and Energy has expressed publicly that the spilling of even one drop of blood is not justified to make a mining operation more profitable, that the economy should be at the service of citizens and not citizens at the service of the economy.

That the President Rafael Correa has said that sovereignty is the people and that he will do what sovereignty demands.

The communities and organizations affected by megaprojects of transnational mining firms, of private hydroelectric projects and concessions, in exercising our rights as citizens, demand to the National Government:

The immediate withdrawal of mining and hydroelectric projects from our communities.

That through executive decree all mining, hydroelectric and water concessions should be nullified, in application of Article 272, for having violated Articles 86 and 88 of the Constitution, and that Ecuador declare itself a COUNTRY FREE OF LARGE-SCALE MINING.

Demilitarization and withdrawal of paramilitary and armed groups from the zones of conflict.

That there be investigation and punishment against the violations of human rights committed by the transnational mining companies, in particular the Aurelian Resources, Corriente Resources, and Ascendant Copper, who have been operating with the support of armed and paramilitary groups.

To put an end to the criminalization of the social and environmental struggles that are being carried out in trials and "legal" processes against the leaders and organizations who are resisting the extractive industries.

That the Law of the Defense of the Consumer be used against the Chamber of Mining of Ecuador for its fraudulent and mal-intentioned propaganda.

That the liberty of expression be guaranteed through the means of communication to the communities affected by mining and hydroelectric projects.

That the national government bring lawsuits against the mining companies and hydroelectric firms for damages and injuries.

That the physical integrity of all participants in the national uprising be guaranteed, and that no reprisals of any kind be carried out against them.

These and other demands have been presented in many occasions to the Government, to the President of the Republic, to the Minister of Mining and Energy, to the Sub secretary of Mining and to other regional officials, and because these demands have not been responded with the urgency which they merit, beginning the day of June 5, we will initiate a NATIONAL UPRISING to extend until the concessions have been nullified, until our very rights are respected and the peace is reestablished in our communities. The uprising will begin on the day of June 5, 2007 at 12:00 midnight.

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