The Calm Before the Storm? April 14th Update

By , April 14, 2012


The Calm Before the Storm?
CODELCO can’t possibly be serious
Manduriacos communities unite 

A plea for high-school transportation funds 


The Calm Before the Storm?

It got real quiet after CODELCO took its drills out of the Paraiso area. First rumors that circulated were that the drill results were disappointing and that was that. Then, more recently, Codelco workers have been saying that the results are quite positive and that they’ll be coming back soon to continue the drilling program,, this time drilling deeper and more bore holes with much bigger equipment. It’s possible that they’ll wait till the start of the dry season, which should start in about a month and a half in the Magdalena area, but my guess is that they’ll return this month.

Manduriacos Communities Unite.
In response to the ongoing CODELCO threat that is supported by irresponsible functionaries that approve ludicrous environmental impact studies with made up facts about the communtieis and the environment, in March the communities in the Manduriacos area formed an organization to represent them. The organization includes all the communities within the immediate area of influence of the Codelco illegal mining project, plus Cielo Verde and Rio Verde. The position of the community leaders on mining is clear: CODELCO is illegally in their area and must go. The name of the organizations is UNION DE COMUNIDADES DE MANDURIACOS. If you are interested in supporting them, let us know.

CODELCO can’t possibly be serious.
It developed that Codelco was officially asked for information about its shennanigans here in Intag by a Chilean NGO, and they responded with a hilarious letter that went on and on about how they weren’t obligated to be transparent because Chilena law number so and so exempted them from full transparency. But the funniest part was when THE COMPANY, and keep in mind that this is the world’s largest copper producer and has quite the envious reputation- on being challenged that its operation in the Intag-Manduriacos area was in violation of the Cotacachi Ecological Ordinance- claimed that the Ordinance was annulled by the Ministry of Non-Renewable Resources. Needless to say the claim is ridiculous because, even if it was true that the Ministry told them so, Codelco lawyers should have known that the Ministry has no such mandate, something they would have found out on reading the first couple of pages of Ecuador’s Mining Law. Cotacachi’s Ecological Ordinance is valid until it is declared null and void by the Constitutional Court. And that hasn’t happened.

In the meantime, DECOIN will keep working with local governments, organizations and communities leaders and will use the courts to try to stop this gross abuse of power, and outrageous injustice. It’s not very comforting to know that the judicial branch is completely dependent on an executive Branch that is dead set on allowing mining, legalities be damned.

A Request for High-School Transportation Funds
Every year we get petitions from parents groups of high-school kids that ask for financial support to make it a little bit easier on their pocketbook to pay for transportation costs to send their kids to the different High-Schools in the area.

The Ecuadorian government- self-proclaimed revolutionary- chooses not to fund public school transportation,  and for the hundreds of kids and parents just in Intag that don’t live in one of three populated centers with high schools, their only option is to hire trucks to get their kids to school. One of those requesting support is the parents of four communities in the JUNIN area: Chalguyacu Alto and Bajo, Junin, and Magnolia. In all 40 kids travel over an hour to attend the Garcia Moreno High School. The estimated cost this year is $5000.00 (five thousand) for the school year- which starts this Monday April 16th. There are other groups in similar situations that have also requested assistance; some expected to pay $3000.00 per year; some $2000. The parents are looking for donations to cover 50% of the costs. Please let us know if you can help.



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