COMMUNITY LEADERS REJECT PRESENCE OF ASCENDANT EXPLORATION IN JUNIN ECUADOR
Intag, 23 August 2004
This past Saturday, 21 August, representatives from 5 communities in the Junin area unanimously decided to reject Ascendant’s offer of building
new roads and rehabilitating others, in a move that will have serious repercussions for the company’s intent to sell their ill-fated mining project to local communities.
The rejection also was seconded by the president of the Counsil for Community Develolpment, Mr. Polibio Perez, who, together with those present, decided to force the Provincial government to comply with their road-building responsibilities and leave out Ascendant altogether from the scene.
This is the latest of a series of setbacks for Ascendant Exploration in the Junin mining project. The company has been unable to carry out exploration activities in its mining concession due to strong local oppostion. The mining concession lies almost in its entirety within community forests reserves, and a private protected forest.
The opposition also counts with firm and determined support of Cotacachi County mayor, Auki Tituaña, and other local authorities.
In another development earlier in the month, representatives from 5 communities surrounding the Junin mining concessions and meeting in the community of Barcelona, one of the communities to be affected by the mining project, reaffirmed their decision to reject the presence of Ascendant Exploration in their communities, by signing the Barcelona Declaration. The Declaration sets in no uncertain tone their firm rejection to the actions, intimidation, threats and the presence of Ascendant aimed at their communities and local oppostion leaders. It manifests, furthermore, their rejection to the pretension of Ascendant to invade community territories in Juin, and their desire to seek more rational and less destructive development initiatives, which does not cause divisions within their communities nor resettlement of their communities and neighbors.
Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de Intag
PO BOX 144