UPDATE 21 APRIL 2005
ASCENDANT’S New Lies
The Government’s fall
Attempted Password Theft
Call for Intag’s Militarization
Lucio Gutierrez, (until yesterday) Ecuador’s president, fell wednesday. YEAH!! The majority in Congress declared he had abandoned the presidency, and, in effect ousted him, the president of congress and other high level politicians, and the Vice president took over. But most people in Quito, who protested for a straight week and who really were the ones responsible for the overthrow, still demand a complete overhaul of the political scene, and are asking for all congressmen resign. There’s no clear indication of what will happen in the next few days. The main reasons for his fall was his illegal re-structuring of the Supreme Court and Constitutional Tribunal, which paved the way for the return of 2 exiled ex-presidents and one vice presidents accused of corruption.
For us it’s very, VERY good news. Not only because the ex-president was dictatorial, among other things, but also because his military friends in Ascdendant will be left out in the cold regarding the national government. Local government agents here in Intag will also lose their power and following, which means even less support for the mining. All the ministers of state will be replaced, including the Minster of Energy and Mines, hopefully with a rational one.
What is going on here in Intag? I reported on April 11th’s chaos at the Cotacachi Municipality created by Ascendant and CODEGAM. The balance of that ridiculous action was that the Municipal government’s position against mining is now more deeply entrenched than ever. Many of the people who were there brought by the mining interests were lied to as to the real objective of the trip (it was supposed to be a trip to the Congress to pressure for the creation of a new Municipality- one of the main objectives Ascendant is pursuing and supporting). It, in other words, backfired.
Yesterday someone (20 April) tried to steal my password to our blogging site by contacting the Blogger’s original author. Luckily she contacted me first to confirm if I had requested a new password.
CALL FOR INTAG’S MILITARIZATION.
We recently discovered a letter dated April 4th and signed by the Garcia Moreno parish president and Ronald Andrade, from Ascendant’s Codegam organization, asking the head of the armed forces in Ecuador to militarize the Intag area due to the suppossedly high level of insecurity. We were able to confirm that the request was really for a specific area in Intag close to the border with Pichincha, but the wording of the letter left it wide open to militarize any area in Intag. It would not have surprised me in the least if this was Villacis’ plan to bring in his military buddies to protect Ascendant while they did their Environmental Studies. With the deep changes in the presidency and in Ecuador as a whole takine place, we are totally convinced this petition will now be thrown in the thrash, where it belongs.
ASCENDANT’S NEW LIES.
Ascendant Copper Corporation’s new web page, ascendantcopper.com, is up and running. It is also impressively full of lies and wildly misleading information. For example, they have a photo of Ascendant’s Exploration’s “model farm” in Chalguayacu Bajo, and claim that is is JUNIN. They point to the deforested condition of the area, yet focus their telephoto lens exclusively on their own newly plowed field that was later planed in corn. Plowed by Ascendant Exploration. Had they aimed their camera a little bit higher, they would have included the heavily forested Toisan Range. Junin is a few kilometers up river from Chalguayacu Bajo.
They also claim to have built roads and bridges. The road they refer to was built about 10 years ago by the government, and the bridges were built by a Spanish NGO and the provincial government. They also mislead people to believe all everyone does in the Junin area is to log for a living, not mentioning that most people have farms producing all kinds of agricultural products, and specially, cattle raising. And on and on. If you are interested in the details of the approximately 15 lies or distortion of the truth I’ve been so far able to uncover, let me know and I’ll send. Their email http://www.ascendantcopper.com/Com_AreaMap/Community.htm (see below for some details on the lies)
On another page (CODEGAM), they reproduce a document where this company-created organizations claim they represent all of the Parish township governments and communities in Intag. This is not only totally absurd, of course, but it has also generated great opposition by community and Parish presidents, who will soon publicly denounce CODEGAM and Ascendant.
Their map fail to list all the communities that are against the mining project, and claim all Parish governments on the map are in favor of mining, when in fact, this is just the opposite. Not a single current Parish government is in favor of mining. We’ll publish the letters congtradicting CODEGAM’s claim on our web page as soon they are all signed.
We’ll soon make public the IN A SINGLE VOICE, a document signed by close to 900 persons reject mining in Intgag and calling for ASCENDANT to leave.
Next week, news on a couple of very interesting developments taking shape in Canada.