THE ONGOING STRUGGLE BY JUNÍN, AND NEIGHBORING COMMUNITIES, TO ASSERT THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
At the same time Ascendant Exploration is trying (and failing) to go around Intag’s community’s selling their 16.5 million “development project”, more and more communities are waking up to the project’s false claims. The latest manifestation of the growing anti-mining stance was a huge anti-mining event in the Peñaherrera Parish taking place this past Sunday, 11 July, which had originally started as a pro-mining forum organized by Ascendant! Close to 300 people from 15 communities and several productive and educational groups converged in Peñaherrera to LOUDLY express their rejection of mining, and Ascendant’s presence in the Intag region. As if this wasn’t enough, the community, which at first accepted to have Ascendant build their base camp on their land, has decidedly rejected the company’s presence, and has sent a letter to the Ministry of Energy and Mines asserting their decision.
The team of lawyers representing the communities in Quito (Centro de Derechos Económicos y Sociales-CDES-) and Cotacachi, on the other hand, are pursuing the legal case against the government for illegally granting Ascendant’s concession before the Constitutional Injunction presented by Cotacacachi’s Municipal government against the mining project was finalized. The lapse in this jurisprudence act could result in a serious breach of legality regarding not only the legality of the concession, but of the Tribunal’s handling of the case, and will likely result in a court case against the judges of the Constitutional Tribunal, and a suspension of the mining concession.
The case highlights just one more of a series of illegalities connected with Ascendant’s concessions in the Intag region of Ecuador, and the ongoing struggle of the people of Intag to preserve their communities, rivers and forests, FREE OF MINING.
14 July 2004