19-Mar: ** President Correa on MINING!! / More from the field

By , March 19, 2007
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From EFE News Agency

http://es.biz.yahoo.com/17032007/185/correa-advierte-guerra-civil-comunidades-empresas-mineras.html


Correa aims his guns at Mining Concessions:

“The mining problem is very grave, and we have areas close to a civil war”… “We have not received any benefits from mining…. “and that will have to be taken down”…. These are just some of the statements made by the President Correa on the mining situation in Ecuador this past Saturday on his weekly radio show to the nation. He also said that the upcoming Constitutional Assembly should change the law, and that in the next few days, he’ll issue a presidential decree to mobilize the nation’s armed forces to deal with the mining, and the petroleum contraband situation. S

Aee below for the full translated news release, and the original news release in Spanish.

Sources:

March 17 2007, 19h59 Correa warns about a “civil war” between communities and mining companies

Quito, 17 mar (EFE).- Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, warned today that a kind of “civil war” could take place between communities in mining areas and the corporations that exploit the mineral deposits.

Correa, in his usual Saturday radio program, announced that in the next few days he will issue a “national mobilization” decree for the armed forces in order to confront the “extremely grave” mining problem, as well as to combat the fuel contraband.

“The mining problem is extremely grave, and we have areas where we are on the verge of a civil war”, Correa remarked, after acknowledging that some grave confrontations have taken place between locals and mining companies.

There are more than 3,700 mining concessions in Ecuador.

“The whole country has been concessioned”, and in some areas, the Mayors “have to ask the mining companies for permission to build sewer systems. It’s absurd”, said Correa.

He said that the conflict originates in a law approved in 1990, which motivated the creation of mining concessions, but he pointed out that during the last 16 years the concessions have given the State only 22 million dollars.

“We have not received any benefits from this (mining); neither the State nor the people, and that will have to be taken down”, the president said, and indicated that the Constitutional Assembly, which his government is promoting, should change the mining laws.

He reiterated that his administration will create the “Ministry of Mines”, after pointing out that the law that promotes mining concessions was done with a World Bank loan, which will be revised by his government, and believes that the loan is part of a “illegitimate debt”.

Correa also said that the public forces mobilization decree will also attempt to stop the fuel contraband to bordering countries, like Colombia and Peru, and even Panama.

He stated that between 2004 and 2005, during government of ex-president Lucio Gutiérrez, a fuel contraband crisis took place, because during that period the importation of gasoline “went up 40% by volume, at a time the economy only grew three percent”

“It’s perverse”, Correa affirmed, and said that “it’s clear” that the increase in fuel importation was not to satisfy the internal demand, “but rather, for contraband”.

Correa indicated that the mobilization decree will attempt to prevent Mafioso groups from shipping the State subsidized fuel to sell as contraband in countries like Peru and Panama, where the price of gasoline is much higher than Ecuador’s.

“We are not going to tolerate this any more”, Correa noted, while at the same time asserting that it’s estimated that the fuel contraband costs the country between 300 and 500 million dollars a year.

He recalled that the fuel contraband problem was recently analyzed by the National Security Council, and said that there is a “coordinated plan” between the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the national company, Petroecuador, and the armed forces, which aims to “capture” the contrabandists.

Correa advierte de “guerra civil” entre comunidades y empresas mineras

Domingo, 18 de Marzo 2007
• Anuncia “movilización nacional” contra las concesiones mineras y el contrabando de combustible al Perú y otros países limítrofes.
_Quito. EFE.
Foto: Percy Ramírez._

Image
Rafael Correa apuntó sus baterías a las concesiones mineras.

El presidente ecuatoriano, Rafael Correa, advirtió que podría desatarse una especie de “guerra civil” entre comunidades asentadas en zonas mineras y las empresas que explotan los yacimientos.

Correa, en su habitual programa radial sabatino, anunció que en los próximos días emitirá un decreto de “movilización nacional” de la fuerza pública, para atender el “gravísimo” problema minero, así como para combatir el contrabando de combustible.

“El problema minero es gravísimo y tenemos sectores donde estamos al borde de una guerra civil”, remarcó Correa, tras admitir que se han producido graves enfrentamientos entre pobladores y empresas mineras.

En Ecuador existen más de 3,700 concesiones mineras.

“Todo el país está concesionado” y, en algunos lugares, los alcaldes “tienen que pedir permiso a las mineras para hacer alcantarillado. Eso es un absurdo”, remarcó.

Aseguró que el conflicto proviene de una ley aprobada en 1990, que alentaba las concesiones mineras, pero señaló que esos negocios en los últimos 16 años han reportado al Estado apenas 22 millones de dólares.

“No hemos recibido ningún beneficio de eso (la minería), ni el Estado ni la población, y eso va a tener que ser desmontado”, apuntó el mandatario, e indicó que la Asamblea Constituyente que promueve su gobierno deberá cambiar las leyes mineras.

Reiteró que en su administración se creará el “Ministerio de Minas”, tras señalar que la ley que alienta las concesiones mineras fue elaborada con un crédito del Banco Mundial, el cual será revisado por su gobierno, que cree que ese préstamo es parte de una “deuda ilegítima”.

Correa dijo, asimismo, que el decreto de movilización de la fuerza pública también intentará frenar el contrabando de combustible hacia países vecinos como Colombia, Perú, e incluso a Panamá.

Aseguró que entre 2004 y 2005 se presentó una crisis por el contrabando de combustibles. La importación de gasolinas “creció 40 por ciento, cuando la economía creció solo el tres por ciento”.

*Datos*
CONTRABANDO. Correa indicó que el decreto de movilización intentará evitar que grupos mafiosos embarquen el combustible subsidiado por el Estado, para venderlo como contrabando a países como Perú y Panamá, donde el coste de las gasolinas es mucho mayor al de Ecuador.

PÉRDIDAS. “Eso no lo vamos a tolerar más”, apostilló Correa, a tiempo de afirmar que se calcula que el contrabando de combustibles perjudica al país entre 300 y 500 millones de dólares anuales.

SEGURIDAD. El problema del contrabando de combustibles fue analizado por el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional y dijo que hay “un plan coordinado” entre el Ministerio de Energía, Petroecuador y las FFAA para “capturar” a los contrabandistas.

espaniol abajo

Chalguayacu Bajo 17 March
Ascendant backs down

Chalguayacu Bajo 17 March

Communities take measure to reduce conflict until Ascendant’s Concessions are cancelled

Under the pressure of more than 300 Intag residents from all over Intag and all seven of the Parish Township governments, late last night Ascendant agreed to abide by the Ministry of Energy and Mine’s December 9th order for the company to cease all activities within its mining concessions by promising to reduce the number of its employees working in Intag by 80%, and not to hire additional personnel. The only allowed company presence within the company’s lands will be that of one or two caretakers in some of the properties. On their part, the communities agreed to lift the road control at Chalguayacu Bajo, to turn over the guns confiscated from the paramilitary on December of 2006, and to not occupy any more land legally belonging to the company. A multi-stakeholder group will be formed to monitor compliance. Both parts also agreed to work hard to diffuse the tension in Intag. The agreement will be formalized this coming Tuesday at the Imbabura Governor’s office.

The agreements will hold until a final decision is taken regarding the legality of Ascendant’s mining concessions.

The delegation which was finally able to come to the temporary agreement late on Friday night was comprised of two community representatives opposed and supporting ; the governor of Imbabura Province, a representative from both the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and the Ministry of Government; Ascendant’s general manager, and local Parish government officials. The clear winner, as some local representatives stated last night, are all the communities, which will benefit from the reduced level of conflict

Bajo la presion de mas de 300 comuneros y comuneras de toda la zona de Intag y sus siete presidentes Parroquiales, en la tarde en la noche del 16, Ascendant Copper acordo respetar la orden del 9 de Diciembre del Ministerio de Energia y Minas de abstenerse de realizar actividades dentro de sus concesiones en Intag, y reduicira el 80% de sus trabajadores. La empresa tambien acordo no contratar a nuevos empleados, y la unica presencia permitida de la empresa dentro de las propiedades sera limitada a uno o dos cuidadores en ciertas propiedades. Por su parte, las comunidades acordaron levantar el control vial en Chalguayacy Bajo, de entregar las armas confiscadas a los paramilitares en el mes de diciembre, y de no tomarse mas propiedades legalmente pertenecientes a la empresa.

Tambien se acordo formar un grupo de veedores para monitorear el cumplimiento del acuerdo, y ambas partes acordaron de hacer todo lo posible para reducir las tensiones en el area. El acuerdo sera formalizado este proximo martes en la gobernacion de Imbabura, y la entrega de las armas procedera a realizarse unos dias despues.

El acuerdo se respetara hasta que se tome una decision definitiva sobre la legalidad de las concesiones.

La delegacion que finalmente sello el acuerdo tarde en la noche del viernes estuvo constituida por representantes del Ministerio de Gobierno, Ministerio de Energia y Minas; el gobernador de Imbabura; CEDHU (Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos), cuatro representantes comunitarios- dos a favor y dos opositores al proyecto de Ascendant, el gerente de la empresa en Quito, y dos representantes de los gobiernos Parroquiales de la zona de Intag. El obvio ganador, segun expreso un lugarenio, fueron todas las comunidades intenias, quienes se beneficiaran por el reducido nivel de conflicto.

(pido disculpas por las faltas ortográficas, aparentemente blogger no blogea en español!!)

COMISION DE PRENSA

DECOIN


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