Ecuador: NGOs allege forced eviction of communities to make room for Chinese mining project Mirador, of Ecuacorriente

NGOs document forced evictions in May and September 2015, preceded by the killing in 2014 of a Shuar indigenous leader opposing Chinese mining project “Mirador”, owned by Ecuacorriente (part of Corriente Resources, which is part of China Railway Construction Company – CRCC - and Tongling).  Front Line Defenders made an appeal in October to stop the evictions. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited CRCC to respond but the company did not

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Article
19 July 2019

Ecuador: Local communities oppose country's largest copper mine funded by Chinese firm

Author: Ning Hui, China Dialogue

“Few options left for local communities opposing Ecuador’s largest copper mine”, 8 July 2019

The Mirador copper mine has pitted locals against the government and a Chinese mining company they say failed to consult them and forcibly evicted them…

… This large mine [Mirador copper mine] has ore reserves of 660 million tonnes and has been operated by Tongguan since 2010…

After three rounds of evictions, 136 people from 32 households in San Marcos [near Mirador] were forced to leave...

… lawyer Mario Melo Cevallos has been following the Mirador mine and representing the Kichwa in their human rights lawsuits. He complains that “the government approved the Mirador project without ever listening to social or environmental concerns”.

… The mine’s environmental impact has seen the greatest criticism. The Condor Range isn’t just a huge store of copper, it’s also incredibly rich in biodiversity…

… Lawyer Mario Melo Cevallos… [said] “Since 2013 those opposing the mine for various reasons have brought at least six lawsuits.”

Those lawsuits have complained of infringements of the rights of nature, of the murder of indigenous leaders, of infringement of community housing rights, and of the failure to allow indigenous people their right to free and prior consent. Subsequent lawsuits have attempted to address environmental destruction, to use constitutional protections against the tailings pond, and to use administrative processes to void existing environmental permits.

But so far, the cases against the mines – brought variously by local officials, indigenous community groups, individuals, environmental groups and scientists – have all been lost…

Tongguan maintains it did nothing wrong in the San Marcos evictions. “They’re always complaining about San Marcos, saying it was forced eviction and using it as a weapon against us,” says Zhu [community relations manager since 2013 for Tongguan]...

It is not rare for Chinese mining firms to encounter sustained opposition from indigenous communities. Li Ai, a policy specialist with Greenpeace... says: “Chinese firms often become the front line of interactions between local communities and various interest groups in the host nation.”…

According to Li Ai: “The direct economic benefits to local communities from oil and mining investments are tiny, but indigenous communities bear the brunt of environmental and other consequences. Wastewater flows into rivers, rainforests are destroyed, biodiversity is damaged, land is appropriated, and locals relocated. For the indigenous people, someone is walking into their home and destroying things they treasure.”…

In November 2018, Luis [chairman of the Amazonian Community of the Cóndor Mirador Mountain Range] travelled to Geneva to describe the Mirador case at a review of China’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council. The UN report on that review... contains China’s response. China undertook to: “Promote measures that ensure that development and infrastructure projects inside and outside its territory are fully consistent with human rights and respect the environment and the sustainability of natural resources, in line with applicable national and international law and the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”… [Also refers to Junefield Mineral Resources and the Hunan Gold Corporation, the China Aluminium Corporation, Zijin Mining, Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, China Railway Construction Corporation, EcuaCorriente S.A., Corriente Resources]

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Author: 宁卉, 中外对话(英国,中国)

“金山上的来客(下)”, 2019年7月8日

中国矿业公司足迹深入亚马逊热带雨林。处理与矿业周围原住社群的关系,则是他们的新课题…

厄瓜多尔首个大型露天铜矿米拉多(Mirador)…储有6.6亿吨铜矿,它所在的矿脉被业界认为是全世界最后一片尚未开发的铜矿。2010年开始,米拉多由来自中国的中铁建铜冠公司(以下简称”铜冠”)投资建设…

前后三次拆迁,[米拉多附近的]圣马科斯的32户人家共有136人被赶出家园...

… 律师马里奥长期跟踪米拉多铜矿并代理厄瓜多尔克丘亚族人的人权官司。他说:「政府批准米拉多项目,从未听取过来自社会或环境层面的担忧。」

若政府和投资者真的倾听「其他声音」,那他们会看到米拉多面临的挑战层出不穷。首当其冲便是矿业项目对环境及生物多样性的影响。除了不可再生的铜,神鹰山还是个生物多样性的“富矿”。

… 律师马里奥… [说]:「自2013年开始至今,不同领域的抗议者针对米拉多项目发起的法律诉讼至少有六次。」

这些诉讼中,有以侵害自然体权为由,有因土著领袖被害而申诉的,有以侵害小区住房保障权为由,也有以未履行原住民所拥有的“自由知情同意”权利为由的,而接下来陆续起诉的,还有以环境破坏为由,有要求对尾矿库采取宪法预防措施,也有在行政程序上驳斥现有环境许可的。

只不过,至今,反抗米拉多的原告们——有的是本地行政长官,有的是土著社群机构,有的是受侵害的个人,有的是环保机构,有的是科学家——一次都没有赢过…

铜冠坚持他们在圣马科斯驱逐并没有错。 朱先生[自2013年起担任社区关系经理]说︰「他们总是在就圣马科斯投诉,说是强制驱逐,并用它作为对付我们的武器」...

中国企业在投资建设矿业时遇到土著社群的持续抵抗并不罕见。绿色和平政策专家李艾长期跟踪中国在海外矿业的投资,她说:「中资企业常常成为东道国多层利益关系与小区互动的最前线。」…

李艾说:「石油、矿业投资给社区带来的直接经济收益少之又少,相反,开采带来的环境污染和其他后果却由原住民承担。项目造成的废水排放河流、毁坏雨林、破坏生物多样性、占用土地而带来的搬迁,对于原住民来说,这就是有人进入他们的家园、毁坏他们的珍宝。」

2018年11月,刘易斯[CASCOMI主席]远赴日内瓦,在联合国人权理事会审议时,就米拉多的案子做出陈述。打开2019年2月联合国发布的审议报告,中国针对厄瓜多尔提出的问题,回复将研究以下建议:「根据适用的国家和国际法以及《2030 年可持续发展议程》的承诺,促进采取措施,确保其领土内外的发展和基础设施项目完全符合人权,并尊重环境和自然资源的可持续性」… [文章提及考伦特资源]

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Author: 寧卉, 中外對話(英國,中國)

“金山上的來客(下)”, 2019年7月8日

中國礦業公司足跡深入亞馬遜熱帶雨林。處理與礦業周圍原住社群的關係,則是他們的新課題…

厄瓜多爾首個大型露天銅礦米拉多(Mirador)…儲有6.6億噸銅礦,它所在的礦脈被業界認為是全世界最後一片尚未開發的銅礦。 2010年開始,米拉多由來自中國的中鐵建銅冠公司(以下簡稱”銅冠”)投資建設…

前後三次拆遷,[米拉多附近的]聖馬科斯的32戶人家共有136人被趕出家園...

… 律師馬里奧長期跟踪米拉多銅礦並代理厄瓜多爾克丘亞族人的人權官司。他說:「政府批准米拉多項目,從未聽取過來自社會或環境層面的擔憂。」

若政府和投資者真的傾聽「其他聲音」,那他們會看到米拉多面臨的挑戰層出不窮。首當其衝便是礦業項目對環境及生物多樣性的影響。除了不可再生的銅,神鷹山還是個生物多樣性的“富礦”。

… 律師馬里奧… [說]:「自2013年開始至今,不同領域的抗議者針對米拉多項目發起的法律訴訟至少有六次。」

這些訴訟中,有以侵害自然體權為由,有因土著領袖被害而申訴的,有以侵害小區住房保障權為由,也有以未履行原住民所擁有的“自由知情同意”權利為由的,而接下來陸續起訴的,還有以環境破壞為由,有要求對尾礦庫採取憲法預防措施,也有在行政程序上駁斥現有環境許可的。

只不過,至今,反抗米拉多的原告們——有的是本地行政長官,有的是土著社群機構,有的是受侵害的個人,有的是環保機構,有的是科學家——一次都沒有贏過…

銅冠堅持他們在聖馬科斯驅逐並沒有錯。朱先生[自2013年起擔任社區關係經理]說︰「他們總是在就聖馬科斯投訴,說是強制驅逐,並用它作為對付我們的武器」...

中國企業在投資建設礦業時遇到土著社群的持續抵抗並不罕見。綠色和平政策專家李艾長期跟踪中國在海外礦業的投資,她說:「中資企業常常成為東道國多層利益關係與小區互動的最前線。」…

李艾說:「石油、礦業投資給社區帶來的直接經濟收益少之又少,相反,開採帶來的環境污染和其他後果卻由原住民承擔。項目造成的廢水排放河流、毀壞雨林、破壞生物多樣性、佔用土地而帶來的搬遷,對於原住民來說,這就是有人進入他們的家園、毀壞他們的珍寶。」

2018年11月,劉易斯[CASCOMI主席]遠赴日內瓦,在聯合國人權理事會審議時,就米拉多的案子做出陳述。打開2019年2月聯合國發布的審議報告,中國針對厄瓜多爾提出的問題,回復將研究以下建議:「根據適用的國家和國際法以及《2030 年可持續發展議程》的承諾,促進採取措施,確保其領土內外的發展和基礎設施項目完全符合人權,並尊重環境和自然資源的可持續性」… [文章提及考倫特資源]

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Company non-response
4 January 2016

China Railway Construction did not respond

Article
8 October 2015

“Ecuador: Demolition of homes of human rights defenders and Shuar community”

Author: Frontline Defenders

On 30 September 2015 police forces, accompanied by private security companies forcibly evicted families from the Amazonian Social Action Community and demolished their houses in Tundayme…The private forces were hired by Ecuacorriente, a Chinese company in charge of the Mirador Mining Project in the Cordillera del Cóndor, which is located in the East of the Zamora-Chinchipe province, on the Peruvian-Ecuadorian border…The indigenous communities sustain that they have the right to remain in their ancestral lands since the Ecuacorriente company has failed to conduct a thorough study of social impacts. The study of social impact is a mandatory step for the implementation of extractive projects according to international standards – such as Convention No. 169 of the International Labour Organisation – and Ecuadorian law itself. There have been no consultations held with the local communities…Ecuacorriente asserts its right to continue its activities on the Mirador project based on a resolution issued by the Ministry of Mines and Oil in August 2008 (Acuerdo no 172) which, based on a narrow interpretation of the Constituent Resolution no.6, authorised all extractive projects not causing damage to water supplies. However, there is no legal basis for this resolution, as it is superseded by the Constituent Resolution no. 6…To date, the inhabitants of the region, members of the Shuar indigenous people, have not been consulted about the Mirador Mining Project nor on the extent to which would affect the local communities.

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