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Latest news from DECOIN

Latest news from the Intag Solidarity Network

Ascendant Copper Threatens Ecuador’s Toisan Range - Report from Upside Down World

 

New Mining Threat

"Here's an update on the Junin situation I worked on about a week ago. Since then, Ascendant Exploration employees invaded the Junin community forest reserve without asking permission on tuesday the 18th May 2004. A women's group formed right then and then and this past thursday went up to Junin and told the miners to leave. Incredibly enough, they left. However, they are apparently going to try and go back tomorrow with more workers. The Community Development Counsil (see below), is organizing a road blockade to stop the workers reaching the mining area and community reserve, which includes a large part of the mining concession area. (and which DECOIN helped the community buy a few years ago)."

Dear friends,

Last Sunday I came back from a two day trip to Junin with some good, but also some very troubling news. We (DECOIN) were in Junin to help commemorate 7 years of the expulsion of Mitsubishi from our forests, rivers and communities. In all, nearly 150 residents from twelve communities showed up in the beautiful Junin valley to meet, share experiences and dreams and celebrate.
As soon as we arrived, however, we were informed that a mining company had just held a meeting in the village of Chalguayacu Alto (next to Junin) the day before (May 14) to inform everyone they were the new mining concession owners and to do what they all do: offer high paying jobs and promise the moon. Fortunately, the mining company (Ascendant Exploration) is a exploration company and too small to actually exploit the mine. We believe they are there to make the concession attractive to a much bigger company by, among other things, buying a few leaders and trying to neutralize the opposition. I know it reads like a scene from a movie but during the meeting, a young man was caught trying to tape interventions by some DECOIN representatives. It turned out that he was sent by someone who had denounced DECOIN at the meeting the day before in Chalguayacu Alto (both are natives of Intag).
At the May 14th meeting, Ascendant Exploration employees admitted they had 'gone into the Junin community forest reserve without asking permission from the community, or letting anyone know what they were doing in the area!'
Before the party and dance began, the program called for a special meeting to create a community focus organization to help not only confront the new mining threat but also to help community development. The result was the 'Council for Community Development', made up by local people from at least 7 local communities, and counts with the support of many local organizations, including DECOIN, Intag's Women's Coordinating Committee, AACRI (Intag coffee association), to name just a few of the 8 organizations present at the meeting expressing their full support. In 1997 it was a similar local organization that was key in driving Mitsubishi out of Intag, when hundreds of campesinos burned down the mining camp.
The new community organization will focus on supporting communities develop projects and to actively oppose mining. Their first action was to contact Cotacachi's mayor today, Monday 17, to denounce the presence of the mining company in their community and ask for his personal intervention in stopping them from returning.
The mining company seems to be a shell company set up in Ecuador, but owned by another shell set up in the West Indies (Turks and Caicos Islands). The web has interesting background on the individuals making up these shells, including a retired Brigadier General from Ecuador with a background in national security organizations, and several Canadian and U.S. investors; plus a bunch of professional miners (scammers?) (((at the 14 may meeting the general let it know that it would not be too much trouble to order the military to protect the mining interests, and we suspect he was hired exclusively to intimidate the locals)))
For more information, please see our Web page: www.decoin.org ; or write us at: decoin@hoy.net

More as things develop (and they definitely will).

Carlos

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Alternative Energy to Intag

'Shield Innovations' have a keen interest in implementing a pilot Alternative Energy project in Intag and the Galápagos Islands. Kennet Kumenius, Shield’s representative to Central and South America came to Ecuador to visit the places where this will take place. This project has created great interest in the people of Intag and related organizations and will involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Finland.
The Finnish Government have requested 20% of the project funding comes from Shield Innovations, this has been agreed, so it looks very positive a go-ahead response will be received from the Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
We invite you to read more about Shield Innovations by visiting their web site here:

www.shield.fi

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Zoobreviven Help Market Artisan Products

pdf 280kb

Part of our community project working to create products which provide alternative income using sustainable resources.

 

 

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Zoobreviven & ACRI propose joint volunteer program

Coffee farm
ACRI produce
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Farm house
Coffee beans

Zoobreviven and ACRI (The Association of Coffee-growers of the Rio Intag) are working together to establish a joint volunteer program. The program aims to give volunteers the experience of conservation work in the cloud forest along with the opportunity to live and work on an organic coffee farm.

ACRI are an association of small coffee producers in the Intag valley. They were formed to ensure their members receive a fair price for their produce by cutting out the middlemen and selling directly to the consumer. ACRI are committed to sustainable agriculture. All members' coffee is organically produced and usually grown in the shade of native tree species.

In the proposed program volunteers will spend half their time on Zoobreviven's Alto Choco Reserve helping with tree-planting and reserve management and the rest of their time assisting one of ACRI's member families with farm-work.

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Legal Action

Mining

We are initiating legal action to prevent the expropriation of land in the Chontal Reserve by international mining companies. International mining companies are targeting these areas for extraction of gold, copper and minerals. Specialised labour requirements mean this will not benefit the local communities, many of thes companies bring with them terrible track records in treatment of workers and appalling safety standards. The effect on the environment would be nothing short of disastrous as this would be open cast mining which would be severely destructive to the land surface. In addition we are deeply disturbed about effects of pollution to the environment.

Logging

illegal logging Logging
Interrupted Logging
Survey
illegal logging illegal logging
Damaged Tree
Assessing Damage
 
Logging Group
 
Volunteer

We are also pursuing a case against a logging company which has been cutting trees on our Alto Choco reserve. The Alto Choco Reserve and borders has been subject to illegal logging for 5 years now. On the NW edge of the reserve in an area known as Cazar Pamba the Familia Ramos were judged to have illegally chopped down trees such as Caimtillo and the wood and their chainsaws confiscated by the olice and Ministry of the Environment. Later the loggers were somehow able to buy the wood back! Nothing happened to them other than simply being asked to 'not do it anymore.' This is a disastrous situation and symptomatic of the need for punishments to be imposed on illegal logging and education in the severe detrimental effects upon fragile ecosystems such as the Choco Bio-region.

(the pictures show our volunteers and the results of the loggers activities)