Ascendant’s Latest Batch of Lies and,
DAYS OF RAGE IN INTAG
In today’s Ascendant ridiculous news release titled: “Eco-Terrorism Activity Disrupts but Will Not Halt Ascendant Copper Corporation’s Socially Responsible Efforts in the Intag Region” Mr. Davis makes the outrageous claim that “Thus far two of the kidnappers have been arrested, arraigned and in prison awaiting sentencing”
First of all,the two jailed small-farmers are NOT kidnappers, are not guilty until proven so in a court of law, and have not even been tried, and much less are they waiting sentencing. They are currently only suspects, have only been charged with the supposed crime, to which they have not even had to defend themselves. In fact, the president of the Parish Government of García Moreno- where most of the Junin mining project is situated, today wrote a letter to the judge overseeing the arraignment processes vouching for the good character of the two who sit unjustly in jail. Such an important public figure, Mr. Davis, would never write such a document if he or she thought the persons were kidnappers. I believe Mr Davis and Ascendant just won themselves a major lawsuit.
Second, Ascendant’s employees were released NOT by the pressure of any imaginary force of 300 community representative and the national government, but in order to defuse the tense and violent situation in the area, and to pressure the government to live up to the May 20th Intag Assembly where local governments, community representatives and NGO’s asked Ascendant to leave Intag, among other petitions.
Furthermore Mr. Davis falsely implies that this latest collective measure was taken by 30 people belonging to an radical organization. In fact, by the time the event concluded on Saturday the 16th where company employees were released, 280 men, women and children from all over Intag were still present in Junin to witness the public ceremony, in which Cotacachi County government officials, as well as Intag Parish Government presidents, and other public figures were present. Many people had returned to their homes, so the total of men, women and children present during the tense stand-off supporting the Junin community in their measures to protect their lands was closer to 400. None of them were paid, in contrast to the reliable sources telling us that the few dozens of pro-mining persons who were somehow mysteriously trucked to Chalguayacu Alto, each one received $ 15 a day!
Mr. Davis would want his readers to believe that by DECOIN calling the mentioned public event a “ceremony”, it is enough to make us an extremist organization. The only extremism I see is Ascendant’s intent on labeling us extremists and demonizing us.
In Ascendant’s latets news release Mr. Davis fails to address a few really important things, including that one of Ascendant’s employees was armed with a pistol, and that the community members tried to apprehend him but he was able to escape. That’s when the sixty women and men small farmers from the Barcelona area legally apprehended the remaining employees, in order to investigate the weapons issue. At finding out that two of their colleagues were arrested in an Ascendant vehicle in the early morning, the by now close to 150 community members took the decision to hold the employees. CEDHU, the prestigious Ecuadorian Ecumenical Human Rights organization, who are in touch with human rights representatives who were in Junin for most of this pasts week, coincides with this version of events, and has issued damming condemnation on Ascendant’s past and present behavior (SEE BELOW FOR A MORE COMPLETE UPDATE)
Very shortly, Ascendant’s stockholders will be able to read independent human rights reports about Ascendant’s real behavior in the area, backed up by indisputable evidence, that will show the real recounting of events- not make-believe versions. In fact, the news release could be a feeble attempt to prepare the company’s stockholders for some very, very bad news, related to a Constitutional Injuction presented by the president of the Junin community meant to stop the government from approving a flawed Environmental Impact Statement; or the official, and well documented, opposition that DECOIN filed with the Ministry of Energy and Mines with the same aim.
PS. I suggest whoever wrote the news release invest some of his or her Ascendant stock money in a good dictionary or thesaurus and look up all the meanings of “ceremony”….
Address for Ascendant’s latest: http://www.ascendantcopper.com/pdf/06-11%20Hostage%20Taking1.pdf
DAYS OF RAGE IN INTAG
(demen un chancecito para traducir…)
Raining Lawsuits: Ascendant’s last desperate (and ludicrous) lawsuits
Sept 18 Today we learned that Ascendant charged approximately 17 men and women from the Junin area for a long list of supposed crimes, including aggravated assault, robbery, illicit association(!), and attempted homicide and kidnapping! All this as a result of the violent confrontation that, according to eyewitnesses, was provoked when company officials led a number of the pro-mining crowd to try and occupy a piece of land in Junin the company says they own. As in the case of the supposed kidnapping the day before, some of the accused where miles away from the scene of the supposed crimes. One of the persons charged was a Minister of the Environment employee, who happened to be travelling through Chalguayacu Alto, when he was viciously assaulted by the pro-mining crowd, and in plain sight of the police and company personnel, some of whom are suspected of having taken place in the unprovoked attack.
This new spate of lawsuits has enraged an already enraged people, and it will undoubtedly blow back on Ascendant big time.
Representatives from Human Rights organizations have been in the Junin area since the day after the day the communities arrested company personnel when one of them was caught carrying a weapon within communal lands. In addition they have issued several reports and news bulletins strongly condemning Ascendant’s actions in Intag, and the provocation they so clearly caused. Here’s a part of what CEDHU, the prestigious Commision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos says in a report issued on the 13th of September: “The entry of company’s personnel constitutes a intentional provocation, and violation of the Ecuador’s Political Constitution”
“…..We are especially indignant at the fact that our public forces (police) instead of defending the people’s legitimate civil rights are at the disposal of the transnational mining companies”. An updated report from another Human Rights organization is scheduled for released shortly.
As for our incarcerated colleagues.. This is the sixth day that they are in the very dangerous and overcrowded Ibarra jail, surrounded by extremely violent individuals. They have already been the victims of several violent assaults by other inmates, and they fear for their lives. Along with other organizations and the support of local government officials, we are exhausting all avenues to get them out as soon as possible. In the case of one of the persons who’s from one of the poorest families in the Barcelona area, he was in the town of Apuela when the two employees were detained by community members in Junin; a distance of about 30 kilometers.
SIGUEN ACTUALIZACIONES / SEE BELOW FOR MORE UPDATES
Español abajo incluye reporte del 16 de Septiembre
17 September 2006
More news from yesterday’s public ceremony in Junin. Two hundred and eighty persons from all over Intag witness the event, together with representatives from Human Rights organizations, and local and regional authorities, including Parish government presidents the Vice Mayor of Cotacachi, County Commissioners, Mrs Luz Marina Vega (Mayor Tituana’s wife), and high police officials. In the brief ceremony, the Vice Mayor officially turned over the employees to the police representatives, who were in good health. Today, an official representative of the Ombudsman is expected in Junin to investigate the various violations and illegalities against the inhabitants of the area.
After the brief ceremony, the Parish governments, together with the communities, agreed to put into place a Community Protection Plan to guaranteed the safety of the communities affected by the presence of Ascendant Copper Corportaion, which includes permanent watchfulness by members of the different communities and Parish governments from all over Intag. A special commission was also formed to follow up on the illegal arrest and detention of two Intag residents accused of taking part in the arrest by the communities of Ascendant’s employees on the 12th of September. They were officially charged by the District Attorney, and are now in the Ibarra jail, because the Mayor of that city refused to hear their plea for Habeas Corpus
As has been said before in different occasions, the people present in Junin yesterday reiterated that the resístanse to this project continúes, and will continue until the company leaves Intag, and the government respects the decisions of the people of Intag and its local governments.
Keep checking this site, because soon we’ll be sharing an official communiqué from the affected communities , and showing images of this new historic chapter in the resistance that dates from 1997.
17 Septiembre 2006 Masivo apoyo a las comunidades afectadas.
Errata: Queremos pedir disculpas por haber informado esta mañana que había entrado a Junin la ex diputada Nina Pacari al evento del 16. Nos enteramos que fue la hermana de Nina y esposa del Alcalde Auki Tituaña, la Doctora Luz Marina Vega- el boletín ya se encuentra corregido)
Tenemos más información sobre la ceremonia realizada el día de ayer en Junín donde se puso en libertad a los dos empleados de la empresa retenidos por las comunidades. Doscientos ochenta personas de toda la zona de Intag presenciaron el evento, además de representantes organizaciones de derechos humanos, autoridades locales y regionales, incluyendo a los y las Presidentes de las Juntas Parroquiales de Intag, la Alcaldesa de Cotacachi, concejales, la Dra. Luz Marina Vega, esposa del Alcalde Auki Tituaña, presidente de la Asamblea de Uninada Cantonal, y altos representantes de la policía. En el evento, la Alcaldesa entregó a los retenidos al representante de la policía en buen estado de salud. Hoy se espera la presencia de un comisionado de la Defensoría del Pueblo para aceptar denuncias de violaciones e ilegalidades cometidas durante estos últimos días en contra de los moradores del sector.
Después de la breve ceremonia, las Juntas Parroquiales y comunidades se comprometieron a ejecutar un Plan de Seguridad Comunitaria para proteger las comunidades afectadas por la presencia de la empresa minera Ascendant Copper, el cual incluye una vigilancia permanente por parte de moradores de diferentes comunidades y Parroquias de toda la zona de Intag. Por otro parte, se acordó crear una comisión especial para darle seguimiento al encarcelamiento injusto de dos moradores acusados de ser responsable de la retención de los empleados de la empresa. Los dos se encuentran en la cárcel de Ibarra, porque el Alcalde de esa ciudad, rehusó atender su petición de Habeas Corpus.
Como se ha dicho en anteriores ocasiones, ayer los representantes de las comunidades la resistencia continúa y continuará hasta que la empresa abandone la zona y el gobierno respete las resoluciones del pueblo de Intag y sus gobiernos locales.
Sigan chequeando nuestro sitio, porque próximamente estaremos difundiendo una comunicación oficial de parte de las comunidades directamente afectadas, y mostrando imágenes de este histórico capítulo en la resistencia que data del 1997.
Saturday 16 September (Español abajo)
We heard late last night (15 sept) that the hundreds of men and women from dozens of Intag’s communities gathered in Junin since last Wednesday supporting the latest community’s measures against the Ascendant Copper Corporation, decided to free the two Ascendant employees who were being held by the community. In a public ceremony scheduled for this afternoon in Junin and to which national and local authorities have been invited, the two detainees will be freed.
The participants want to make sure the world understands that the release is a good-will gesture meant, in part, to prevent more violence, and that they remain firmly against mining and will continue to take whatever measures are necessary to protect their lands from this, and any other mining company.
The community participants are insisting that the following demands are met:
1. The government and Ascendant accept and execute the decisions taken in Intag’s Regional Assembly on May 20th of this year, which includes that Ascendant leave Intag
2. The government do all it can to speed up the release of the two Intag residents arrested without an warrant, and which were taken in Ascendant’s vehicle to the police station in Ibarra,
3. That no lawsuits are presented against any Intag residents for measures taken by community members to protect their lands, between Tuesday and Saturday; 12-16 of September 2006.
4.That INDA, the National Agricultural Development Institute, annul the land adjudications handed out since May of 2004 within and adjacent to the mining concessions which don’t have the approval of the Municipality and, Parish governments and community presidents. This is the date Ascendant Copper Corporation first came to Intag. Many of these land adjudications are illegal, and have affected Junin’s community reserve, which the community has managed since 1997. All lands adjudicated by INDA are meant by law to be used strictly for agricultural purposes, and some of these are now in the hands of Ascendant Copper Corporation.
The communities wanted DECOIN to emphasize that this struggle continues, and that it will only stop once Ascendant Copper leaves the Intag area. This is a position that is supported by all of Intag’s legitimate organizations, most of its communities, its Parish Governments and the Cotacachi County government.
We ask that all of you reafirm your support for the communities, and help pressure government officials to respect the decisions taken by local communities and governments, and force Ascendant to leave before the next cycle of violence claims lives and disrupts even more this beautiful land and its wonderful, and valiant people.
It could not be more clear that the ongoing conflict and violence is a result of the presence of Ascendant Copper Corporation in Intag. Until it leaves, we see no end in sight to this conflictive situation. In the next few days, DECOIN will be reporting on some of the tactics used by the so-called “pro-mining forces” to provoke violence reactions, and the many irregularities and illegalities committed by the police and the judicial system. We’ll also be sharing reports from Human Rights organizations that were present during the events.
16 de Septiembre,
Anoche los cientos de hombres y mujeres de diferentes comunidades de la zona de Intag reunidos en Junín, tomaron la decisión de dejar en libertad a los empleados de la empresa Ascendant Copper Corporation, que han estado en manos de la comunidad desde el día martes 12 del presente, por invadir áreas comunales.
Los empleados serán puesto en libertad durante un acto público a realizarse hoy, sábado 16 donde varias autoridades locales, regionales y nacionales han sido invitadas, para lograr mayor respaldo a las justas demandas que las comunidades exigen del gobierno.
Los asambleístas quisieron dejar en claro que no desistirán de tomar las medidas que sean necesarias para defender sus comunidades y tierras de la plaga que es la actividad minera, y exiguen se cumpla con las siguientes demandas:
–Respeto a las resoluciones tomadas en la Asamblea Zonal de Intag del 20 de Mayo en García Moreno
–La empresa abandone la zona de Intag
–Prohíba al Inda adjudicar tierras en áreas conflictivas dentro de las concesiones mineras de Ascendant (incluyendo en los alrededores de Junín, Cerro Pelado, Chalguayacu Alto y Bajo, Cerro Pelado Barcelona, y otras) y que se declare nulas las adjudicaciones entregadas en éstas áreas desde el ingreso a la zona de la Empresa minera Ascendant Copper Corporation (Mayo del 2004), y que no cuente con el visto bueno de autoridades Municipales, Parroquiales y comunidades
–Moradores de la zona involucrados en la defensa de sus tierras y derechos no sean enjuiciados por actos cometidos entre el martes 12 y sábado 16
— Se agilite la libertad de los dos moradores inteños injustamente detenidos el martes 13 en la Zona de Intag
–La población de Intag reunida en Junín reitera que Intag está,Y SEGUIRÁ EN PIE DE LUCHA HASTA QUE LA EMPRESA SE LARGUE DE INTAG
En los próximos días DECOIN estará informando sobre algunos de los detalles de las irregularidades e ilegalidades cometidas por los denominados “pro-mineros” la policía, y el sistema judiciaL. Además se comprobará quienes realmente estuvieron detrás del enfrentamiento violento entre los y las inteñas ocurrido el jueves 14.
En fin, la resistencia continúa, y continuará hasta que Ascendant respete la decisión de la mayoría de la zona, sus gobiernos parroquiales, y SE LARGUE DE INTAG.
A nuestros amigos, esperemos que con mayor fuerza apoyen a las comunidades y a su resistencia.
16 de Septiembre