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Ecuador: Company & Govt. ask Justice to order expertise assessment of Ecuacorriente mining Project in hearing about protection action over dispute with indigenous tribe

“Judge suspends hearing and orders to undertake anthropological expertise assessment in indigenous community” – 6 June 2018

On…June 4th 2018, a Protection action hearing against the Ministries of Mining, the Environment, Interior and the Mining Regulation and Control Agency, as well as against Ecuacorriente mining Company [part of Corriente Resources, joint venture Tongling NonFerrous Metals and China Railway Construction Co.] over the lack of free, prior & informed consent regarding the Mirador mining Project operation and over forced evictions occurred in 2015 in the Amazon Community of Social Action, Condor Mirador Cordillera (CASCOMI for its Spanish acronym) at the Zamora Chinchipe Province…The hearing started at 08:30 am and lasted for approximately eight hours during which all Parties involved had the opportunity to present their arguments to the Judge.  On behalf of the CASCOMI community as defendants, there were the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network was present…and the Regional Human Rights Advisory Foundation (INREDH, for its Spanish acronym), [who] started their speech by establishing that this protection measure petition was present on January 31, 2018, and constitutes a defence mechanism as well as a demand of individual and community remedy to benefit all CASCOMI members…On the other hand, [Govt. agencies] and the defence of mining co. Ecuacorriente asked the Judge to dismiss this protection measure as it is inadmissible considering in their allegation that the lands in question do not constitute ancestral territories nor the plaintiffs are indigenous peoples.  They added that the evictions responded to mining bondage previously established and that the Company did undertake meetings to inform about the Mirador mining Project in the zone.  Therefore, they alleged that there was not any Human Rights abuse against the CASCOMI community…After having listened to the Parties, Judge Carlos Alfonso Dávila asked a certified copy of the legal registry of the CASCOMI community, and ordered that an anthropological expertise assessment be carried out for the plaintiff community…