Mining Conflict in Ecuador Heats Up

By , December 25, 2005

Published in Upside Down World, an online magazine uncovering activism and politics in Latin America.
Written by Cyril Mychalejko
Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Dozens of Ecuadorians recently burnt down a building owned by Ascendant Copper Corporation to protest its mining activities in the area. The Canadian mining company claimed in a press release that the structure burnt down was a community health clinic located on an experimental farm, that supplies were stolen and that company employees were physically and verbally assaulted.

“The company is outraged by this assault against company personnel and assets that were dedicated to the assistance of the local community,” stated Gary Davis, Ascendant’s President and CEO.

But Defensa y Conservacion Ecologica de Intag (DECOIN), a local environmental group, rejected the company’s claims in a statement on its website.

“Somebody’s making something up,” said Jamie Kneen, a spokesperson for MiningWatch Canada.

The Canadian mining industry’s atrocious track record regarding honesty, transparency, and legality with its ventures in Latin America, suggests Ascendant is at fault. According to Kneen, who has been monitoring the mining conflict in Ecuador, this was the first that he has heard of Ascendant’s “health clinic.” In fact, this is the first time the company has mentioned its alleged clinic.

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