Jan 7th Update (Ist part)- Police in Junin

By , January 7, 2006


2: 30 pm Saturday 7 January 2006

Around 10am this morning a group of 19 policemen went into Junín claiming there was a report that the people there were going to burn other properties belonging to the mining company.

It is, of course, a complete lie. The real reason the police are there is to intimidate. In fact, what the people of Junín and nearby communities were doing yesterday and this morning was celebrating All Kings day (January 6th). There was, in fact, an environment of peace and brotherhood in the communities-until 10 am today.

After confirmeing there was no trouble at all and the denouncement was a lie, the police left Junin around 2: 30 pm today.

The police, it’s becoming clear, are being manipulated by mining interests into harassing the communities and leaders who are opposing the Junín mining project; a project which guarantees the destruction of several communities, a way of life, and one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.

This is not the first time the police have been involved in this kind of activity. On December 9th of this year, several policemen, driven in an Ascendant Copper Corporation vehicle, tried (unsuccessfully) to go into Junín. On January 3 this year, six policemen (five in street clothes) went to Junín and Chalguayacu Bajo and asked ridiculous questions concerning things like DECOIN supposedly ownership of land in Junín (we do not own any land anywhere).

The Ecuadorian Congress along with human rights organizations here and abroad are being kept informed of this scandalous violation of human rights and travesty of justice.

There is little doubt that Ecuadorian civil society will not sit by as security forces are used as tools of oppression and to harass and intimidate people who are only defending their rights to live in peace and where they choose, and who are exercising the right to determine their own mode of development.

The communities of Intag need your support. If you know of any organization that might be interested in supporting the struggle to uphold the basic human rights the people of Intag are fighting for, please get in touch with us.



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