Ecuador: Comments about the social and environmental challenges in the context of conflicts with extractive companies

Author: Mongabay, Published on: 11 January 2019

Author: Mongabay, Published on 12th January 2019

“Environmental challenges for Ecuador in 2019” – 10th January 2019

The conflicts between indigenous populations and companies around free, prior and informed consent continue and the restructuring of various State entities brings with it great challenges.  In February last year, Ecuadorians were summoned to the urns to decide, through a referendum and popular consultation, over seven crucial topics for the government.  Two of these were the limitation of metallic mining and the protection of the National Park Yasuni.  2019 will be a year in which what happens with three large extractive projects, and the socio-environmental conflicts they bring with them will have to be followed carefully.  Mirador (of Ecuadorian ECSA, part Corriente Resources, part of Tongling Nonferrous Metals & China Railway Construction Corporation), Loma Larga (part of INM Minerales Ecuador SA) and Fruta del Norte (part of Lundin Gold) should begin to extract minerals in 2019, but only the last will be able to do so.  During the government of President Rafael Correa, one of the major criticisms and reports that civil society organisations and indigenous people put forward was the persecution and criminalisation of social and environmental leaders.  According to Yaku Perez, defending lawyer in some of these cases, in 2018 there were 31 cases, from detentions to judicial accusations but more than 150 people are waiting for amnesty “and new cases can be added to that.  We can say that we will receive slightly more than 180.  Almost all have been criminalised for having resisted against extractive projects”, he concluded. 

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Related companies: China Railway Construction Corriente Resources (joint venture Tongling Nonferrous Metals, China Railway Construction Corporation & CRCC-Tongguan Investment) Ecuacorriente (part of Corriente Resources) Lundin Gold Tongling Nonferrous Metals (SOE)