Large-scale mining project in Ecuador: urgent need for a moratorium to prevent human rights violations

In the report, FIDH and CEDHU highlight and denounce:

• the lack of a appropriate consultation mechanisms;
• the land acquisition process, fraught with irregularities that jeopardise the right to an
adequate standard of living and the legal protection against forced evictions;
• the lack of guarantees to protect local populations against the environmental impacts of a
large-scale mining operations, especially compromising the right to water;
• the repression and criminalisation of the individuals who have expressed resistance
towards large-scale mining projects, in particular in the provinces of Zamora and Morona
“Repression entailed violations of fundamental rights such as the right to physical and personal
integrity, individual security and freedom, freedom of expression, human dignity and the right to
fair treatment,” recalls Elsie Monge, Executive Director of CEDHU.
In its recommendations to the Ecuadorian and Canadian authorities as well as to the mining companies, FIDH and CEDHU urge the suspension of mining in order to ensure:
• due consultation of affected persons and communities;
• a complete and independent analysis of the environmental impacts on the region;
• the establishment of mechanisms to facilitate legal tenure security for indigenous peoples
and affected peasants exposed to judicial insecurity;
• the immediate suspension of investigations and judicial and administrative proceedings against inhabitants lacking credible evidence and targeted against individuals defending their rights and territories.

The full report is available in Spanish. The executive summary in English can be accessed below.

“The State and businesses must cease any judicial harassment aiming at dissuading individuals who are questioning mining projects”, says Luis Guillermo Pérez, FIDH Secretary General.

The Ligue des droits et libertés of Québec joins FIDH and CEDHU in calling upon the Canadian government to uphold its responsibilities. The publication of this report coincides with the recent on-line publication, by the NGO Mining Watch Canada, of a leaked report commissioned by representatives of the mining industry. The report points to 171 cases of human rights and
environmental violations involving mining companies. The report shows that human rights violations committed by Canadian companies operating in developing countries are systematic and widespread.

“Two months after the Canadian parliament rejected the draft act Corporate Accountability of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries Act, the report published on the case of Corriente Ressources Inc. underlines the urgency and necessity of adopting regulatory measures that oblige mining companies to respect human rights wherever they operate and under all circumstances”, highlights Domique Peschard, President of La Ligue des droits et
libertés du Québec. “This situation in Ecuador reminds us of the miniparticular regarding schist gaz exploitation”, concludes Mr. Peschard.

Read more