Update: 22 February (EN ESPAÑOL tan pronto tenga un chance))))
Police in Junin / Meetings with Local Governments / Carlos’ Arrest Warrants / ASScendant’s shares take a dive, and MORE!
Police still in Junin—as of today the police sent in more than a month ago to preserve the peace in the Junin area are still staying in the Junin cabins. The communities are still having to pay for their food, but it looks like the government was shamed into helping them out- and the Intag Solidarity Network came through with some food money for them for a few days.
Ascendant Refuses to Respect Government Orders. Ascendant’s employees are still occupying land the company claims as theirs, which is a permanent source of aggravations for the locals. The company is still not complying with the December 9th stop-work order, a situation that is being constantly denounced in the media in Quito and Ibarra by the presidents of the Parish governments and other members of the regional Coordinadora Zonal de Intag.
Carlos’ Arrest Warrant. As I reported a few days ago, our lawyer discovered that Ecuador’s flexible legal system had issued an arrest warrant against me for the gun the police placed in my home on the 17th of October. The arrest warrant, for some incredible coincidence, turned out to have been issued on November 21st. ONE DAY AFTER THE FIRST arrest warrant was revoked. Luckily, I believe, the enormous international and national attention drawn to the October police raid, together with the UN Human Rights, Amnesty International and Global Witness looking into the numerous (understatement!) irregularities and illegalities committed by lawyers, public prosecutors, and judges seemed to have taken the enthusiasm out of the company or the judges from actually arresting me. This latest episode just adds to the illegalities, since the judge ordering my arrest had no jurisdiction over the case whatsoever, and finally last week or so, a new judge admitted as much and sent the court case to Imbabura province where the gun was “found”, and where the case should have been in the first place. As “luck” would have it, the case arrived in Imbabura practically too late to defend myself. Recall that the gun charges are directly linked to the made up robbery and aggravated assault charges and lawsuit, and in which the judge revoked my arrest warrant for “lack of proofs”. So, I technically I could be arrested for this charge, even though the case… Never mind, the whole thing is just too monstrous and it depresses me to think about it too much (the more so when I think about the other pending lawsuit for the other stuff the police planted alleged to be drugs)… In theory, and in most countries, if the original act was illegal, as was the police raid based on made up charges was, everything issuing forth from that lawsuit should be thrown out of court. But this whole case shifted my world view to Wonderland Mode.
On a more positive note,,
Meeting with the Provincial Government. Last week, in fact, members of the Coordinadora, including representatives from communities, NGO’s and Parish presidents, met with all the members of the Imbabura Provincial government, to bring them up to date on events and inform the newly elected officials of what is really at stake in the Intag area and how the company is behaving. Everyone was pleasantly surprised when it was time for the government officials to express their view on the mining issue in the province. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, they congratulated the community’s resistance and vowed to support it wholeheartedly. The Prefect of the province (head of government in the province) even went further: he vowed to call a meeting of all the Mayors of the province in to make Imbabura a NO-MINING PROVINCE.
Cotacachi Gov.- Later that day, the same delegation met with the Cotacachi government and the newly elected council members, who also expressed unequivocal support for their struggle against Ascendant Copper Mining company.
The government’s anti corruption Commission, meanwhile, continues to investigate the denunciations of illegal land purchasing and title transfers in the Junin area, and it looks like quite a few new titles are being challenged in court.
LOW LOW LOW. This month, ASScendant’s share price dropped to its lowest price ever- 0.36 cents per share. This is about an 80% drop from its initial price of $ 1.70, or about a 35 $ million loss? Ascendant today announced that they hired a fancy public relations guy to head their Investor Relations. Judging from free diving stock prices you can see why they would hire another public relations person but then again they might be worried about what may hit them soon as a result of the ongoing Ontario Securities Commission investigation related to their Junin inferred copper deposit. This new employee, by the way, used to work for Gary Davis’ old mining company, Archangel Diamond Corporation, from which Mr. Davis stepped down from a few years back.
When you get a chance, check out how Ascendant had the Nation’s Ombudsman Office translated in a document titled: MEM Response to the Town Defender’s Council (ascendantcopper.com click INVESTORS—then government documents. In the same site they have other docs- including one to us from the Ministry of Energy and Mines- plus one from the Ministry to Ecuador’s (government) Anti-Corruption Commission (CCCC)– but nowhere is the one mentioning the communication from the Ministry to them telling them to stop ALL ACTIVITIES.
Long time Ascendant Copper supporter and (ex)president of CODEGAM, the false front organization set up and financially supported by the Ascendant, Ronald Andrade, is reportedly in hiding after 4 alleged assassins were found dead and decomposing by a river adjacent to Mr. Andrade’s land in the Intag area (guns and spent munitions were found within Mr. Andrade’s property). Right after the bodies were found Mr. Andrade denounced to the authorities that the assassins were out to kidnap him. However, one of the hit men who was able to escape told the police, when he turned himself in, that he and his buddies were hired by jailed drug-trafficker Mr. Caranqui to collect 140,000 Euros debt from Andrade. Mr. Caranqui says he don’t know nothing, however. Then again, there is another version that holds that it was Caranqui who hired two other killers to eliminate his own hit men because “they knew too much”. That may be in reference to the assassination of the secretary of the judge who sentenced Caranqui to 25 years in jail two or so months ago! Not making any of this up.