MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Constitutional injunction granted to annul the Junin mining concession

Published by MAC on 2003-06-05


Constitutional injunction granted to annul the Junin mining concession

Intag, World Environment Day

5 June 2003

This past Monday, June 2nd, we got word that the judge in Cotacachi, Ecuador, ruled in our favor regarding the Constitutional Injunction seeking to annul the Junin mining concession, which was illegally auctioned last August. This is a major victory in the long struggle to keep mining companies from destroying Intag's primary forests, dozens of endangered animals, polluting pristine rivers and streams, and devastating our communities. If finally successful, it could set a precedent for other local governments in Ecuador.

The Injunction was presented by the County government of Cotacachi, perhaps the first time a County government has used this legal maneuver to stop a mining project in Ecuador. The court agreed with the arguments presented in the injunction, citing violation of article 88 of Ecuador's Constitution, which requires previous consultation with communities if a governmental project threatens to impact the environment or local populations.

The decision ordered the civil registry to annul the Junin concession, among other legal actions aimed at stopping the concession from being sold, or developed.

The lower court decision has already been appealed by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, setting the stage for the next round, which will take place at Ecuador's Constitutional Tribunal, where the final decision will be taken.

Carlos Zorrilla Committee of Environmental and Natural Resource Management Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador

Espanol abajo: Este viernes 30 de Mayo, el juez civil de Cotacachi nos concedió el recurso de amparo presentado por el Municipio de Cotacachi a nombre de las comunidaes de Intag, pidiendo la nulidad de la subasta de la concesión minera de Junin, basado, principalmente, en la falta de consulta previa con las comunidades (violación del art. 88 de la constitución). Sabemos que el Ministerio de Energía y Minas ha apelado, y la lucha continuará en el Tribunal Constitucional en pocos días.

Por favor compartan con sus contactos. Una de las estrategias es difundir al mundo sobre esta lucha, y el apoyo del Municipio de Cotacachi, con la finalidad de ahuyentar a las transnacionales de nuestra Zona.

Carlos Zorrilla Comité de Manejo de Gestión Ambiental y Manejo Recursos Naturales Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador

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