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Ecuador’s military repress communities riots against mining

Quito, Mar 23 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian clashes between the military and anti-mining communities in Ecuador marked the week that ends this Saturday amid scandals in the Executive and preparations for the popular consultation.

On Monday, residents of the Palo Quemado and Las Pampas communities in the Cotopaxi province denounced the presence of the military there to intimidate the anti-mining population.

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) claimed on X that over 500 soldiers had been grouped in that locality generating a climate of tension and concern in the region.

Meanwhile, the National Anti-Mining Front warned that the presence of paramilitaries responds to the onset of mining operations by the Canadian Atico Mining Transnational, and rejected the use of real military equipment by the forces of law and order.

Amid that context, men and women, young and old, rioted on Thursday against the extractive activity, in Palo Quemado with signs and slogans, in particular, they rioted against the exploitation of the zone by the Canadian Atico Mining Transnational to which they want to grant a concession for the area. Protesters demanded an immediate halt to police and military repression, which has left several people injured.

Parallel to that situation, social organizations, environmental movements, analysts and indigenous communities condemned the sentence against six nature defenders in the town of Las Naves, in the Ecuadorian province of Bolivar.

The six peasants had been sentenced to three years in prison and fined ten unified salaries for an alleged illicit association by the Curimining Company.

On the other side, the Ecological Action movement warned that since 2006 the Curimining Company has been conducting inspection activities in those territories, and during that time, there have been multiple conflicts between the company and the local communities due to the lack of environmental consultations.

Communities’ members blame Noboa’s Government and the Ministry of Energy and Mines for failing to comply with legal and constitutional obligations regarding the right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent of communities, indigenous peoples and nationalities to move forward with mining extractions.

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