Ecuador: No more mining in the Cordillera del Cóndor

Paris, Quito, 14 December 2017.- The FIDH together with its member organisations in Ecuador, CEDHU - “Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos”, INREDH - Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos and “Acción Ecológica” request that the new Ecuadorian government declare the expiration of the concessions and cancel the licences, approvals and permits extended to the Panantza-San Carlos, Mirador and Fruta del Norte projects, since they have violated human rights, the territory of peasant communities and indigenous peoples, as well as cause damage to nature. Our organisations demand that they must restore the ecosystems and fully compensate the persons and communities who have been affected for approximately 20 years.

“We hope that Lenin Moreno’s government will comply with the announcement made to the indigenous movement on Monday, December 11, to suspend the delivery of new mining concessions and address as a priority the serious violations of human rights and nature in the Cordillera del Cóndor.”

, indicated the organizations.

The Cordillera del Cóndor has one of the world’s richest concentrations of biodiversity where Amazon societies live, including the Shuar nationality, the largest Amazon group in Ecuador. The Panantza-San Carlos and Mirador mining projects, owned by the Chino CRCC-Tongguan Investment Company consortium with almost 50,000 hectares under concession and the Fruta del Norte project, owned by the Swedish-Canadian company Lundin Gold Corp with 75,000 hectares under concession.

These non-renewable resource extraction projects were approved and maintained in breach of the right to participation and free and informed prior consultation and despite the fact that Mining Mandate No. 6 of 2008 must have led to the extinguishment of the concessions on which these projects are developed.
During the last decade NGOs have documented the impact of the large scale mining expansion and intervention in the Cordillera del Cóndor on human rights and nature through the works that have been compiled in a report published today:“Abuses of human rights and nature in the Cordillera del Cóndor” (ES).

In this report the organisations request that the mining projects be extinguished due to the hoarding of irregular and illegal land of the companies and the serious impacts that they have had on nature, rivers, forests and soils. This affects local populations at the same time, damaging their food sovereignty and health; their occupational activities, such as agriculture, livestock, harvesting and fishing, and its cultural practices, all of which sustains their identity and socio-organisational fabric.

These abuses result in an accumulation of internationally recognised human rights violations, in particular the human rights to adequate housing (including land / territory), food, water, health, culture, education, work, safety of people, security of a home, not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, to freedom of movement, to the self-determination of peoples, among others.

To this is added the repression and constant criminalisation through the filing of complaints and judgments from the state and companies, against directors, leaders and others who have organised themselves to defend their communities and territories, especially in areas of influence of the Mirador y Panantza-San Carlos mining projects. The organisations request that the government continue with the suspension of the judicial proceedings, which began in July of this year, and ensure a favourable environment for defending human rights in Ecuador.

Finally, the recommendations of the report are in addition to the current negotiation process for a binding international instrument on businesses and human rights, so that this process is accompanied, both in the countries of origin of the companies and in Ecuador, by strengthening the national legal frameworks to guarantee the protection of human rights and defenders working within the context of the operation of extractive companies.

See the complete report here (in spanish) :

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