No a la minería en Intag, Ecuador #LibertadparaJavierRamirez

Ecuador: NO to mining in the rainforest #LibertadparaJavierRamirez

Bajo los bosques nublados primarios de Ecuador hay cobre. Si se extrae, ríos cristalinos, biodiversidad y varias comunidades quedarán destruidas para siempre. Los habitantes de las comunidades se oponen desde hace años. Javier Ramírez es uno de ellos y está en la cárcel sólo por oponerse a la minería. Pedimos su libertad HOY. Únete.

libertad-javier-ramirez

La imposición del proyecto minero en la zona subtropical de Intag significa atropellos de derechos fundamentales como la invasión de la zona por las fuerzas de seguridad del Estado, intimidando, reprimiendo y criminalizando a quienes protestan. Un claro ejemplo lo constituye el arresto amañado e ilegal de Javier Ramírez y su posterior encarcelamiento en abril 2014. Es el presidente de la comunidad Junín, una de las que la minería haría desaparecer. Desde hace 10 meses está en la cárcel de Ibarra, Imbabura, privado de libertad. Esta semana tiene lugar el juicio y el martes 10 de febrero 2015 se emitirá la sentencia que puede ser de hasta 6 años. Se le acusa de agredir a unos funcionarios en una fecha y lugar en las que ni siquiera se encontraba. De su inocencia estamos seguros en Salva la Selva.

Salva la Selva pide junto a más de 140 organizaciones la libertad de Javier Ramírez, sin respuesta satisfactoria de las autoridades ecuatorianas ni chilenas, a las que también nos dirigimos, pues la empresa estatal chilena Codelco tiene una importante participación en el proyecto minero.

El proyecto minero Llurimagua amenaza a las comunidades y a los bosques nublados primarios y fuentes de agua de la zona de Intag, en el cantón Cotacachi. Estos bosques, de los más biodiversos del mundo albergan jaguares, osos de anteojos, gallos de la peña y monos araña, estos últimos en peligro crítico de extinción.

Por su empeño en llevar a cabo el proyecto minero en Intag a pesar del rechazo de las comunidades, el gobierno ecuatoriano parece insensible a todo reclamo y el aparato de Estado silencia la resistencia.

Apelamos una vez para que libere a Javier Ramírez, una persona buena e inocente, padre de familia y agricultor, cuya preocupación es defensa de la vida y la naturaleza y el futuro de las comunidades.

 


 

 

MÁS INFORMACIÓN

Sí o sí, la minería en Intag significará la destrucción y contaminación de los bosques de Intag con metales pesados como arsénico, plomo y cadmio y la reubicación de no menos de cuatro comunidades, Junín de la que Javier Ramírez es presidente es una de ellas. Así lo constataron expertos japoneses que estudiaron la zona en los años 90 y encontraron el cobre.

Desde hace casi dos décadas la gran mayoría de los pobladores del Cantón Cotacachi -nunca consultados acerca del proyecto- rechazan la minería. Dos transnacionales ya tuvieron que abandonar la zona en los últimos años: Bishimetals/deMitsubishi en los 90, y Ascendant Copper en el 2007. Los graves conflictos que causaron estas dos empresas enraizaron la oposición a la minería en el valle de Intag.

Ya en abril y mayo de 2014 informamos sobre las difíciles circunstancias que estaban atravesando en Intag. Los artículos “A la cárcel por oponerse a la minería en Ecuador” y“Ecuador: la zona de Intag sitiada” aportan mucha más información sobre las particularidades del caso.

Materias primas como el cobre se comercian globalmente
El presidente ecuatoriano Rafael Correa espera convertir al Ecuador en un país minero y uno de los principales exportadores de cobre del mundo. Sin embargo, muchas comunidades de Norte a Sur del país no están de acuerdo en ser ellas quienes tengan que pagar las costas del crecimiento y el desarrollo de los países del Norte global. Por eso la oposición a los proyectos mineros es grande.
El cobre es imprescindible para implementar las llamadas energías limpias, tan en boga. Pero hay que tener en cuenta que la infraestructura necesaria para implementar energías “limpias” como la eólica y la solar implica grandes insumos de materias primas como el cobre, junto a otras como el acero o las tierras raras. Por eso estos metales se han convertido en una cuestión estratégica y su acceso en una prioridad para muchos países europeos, entre los que destaca Alemania, debido a su potente industria y a su fuerte apuesta por el crecimiento.

Si quieres hacer más, twittea con los hashtags #LibertadparaJavierRamirez y #NoALaMineríaEnIntag

También puedes unirte a otras campañas a favor de Javier Ramírez:

Campaña de Amnistía Internacional

Campaña de la FIDH

The beautiful cloud forests of Ecuador’s Intag region have a fatal flaw – they are standing on a deposit of copper ore. Villagers opposed to plans for a giant open-cast mine are being harassed and criminalized. Community leader Javier Ramírez has been jailed on fabricated charges for ten months. Please call for his immediate release.

“Javier Ramírez stands for the Ecuadorian people and the entire world,” said singer Jaime Guevara on the TVN network. “Accusing him of terrorism and locking him away for many years for protesting an injustice by the government is not fair.”

Ramírez was arrested on April 10, 2014 for an alleged altercation with officials of ENAMI, the state mining company. He denies this, and witnesses testify that Ramírez was at home recovering from an injury on the day in question.

libertad-javier-ramirez

He has been behind bars on remand for ten months and the charges against him have been trumped up to include rebellion, sabotage and terrorism. According to observers, his trial in late January was a farce and the prosecution was unable to present solid evidence of a criminal offense. Ramírez is nevertheless due to be sentenced on February 10 and faces up to six years in prison.

In Ecuador, people and groups that protest the destruction of the environment are exposed to systematic threats, coercion and criminalization with the approval of the highest levels of government.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has repeatedly defamed environmentalists, human rights activists and indigenous people: “Do not believe the romantic environmentalists – anyone who opposes the development of the country is a terrorist.”

Amnesty International and numerous other organizations from around the world have demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Javier Ramírez and the dismissal of all charges against him and his brother Hugo.

Please sign our petition to the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, calling on him to scrap the copper mining project and release Ramírez immediately.

Please also tweet for Javier Ramírez’ release at #ForFreedom 

#LibertadparaJavierRamírez – freedom for Javier Ramírez!

 


 

Background

Copper mine in Intag (Llurimagua project)

ENAMI, the state-owned Ecuadorian mining company, and CODELCO, a copper company belonging to the Chilean state, intend to develop and operate the Llurimagua copper mine in the cloud forests of the Intag region north of the capital Quito.

Local residents have staunchly opposed the development of the mine ever since the ore deposit was discovered in the 1980s. The Ecuadorian government had previously issued two mining concessions – to Bishimetals, a Japanese mining company, and to Ascendant Copper of Canada – but in both cases, protests by the people of Intag succeeded in getting the companies to abandon the project. Rainforest Rescue has been supporting their cause for almost 20 years.

Cloud Forest

Protest outside the courthouse

Facing a strong presence of riot police, numerous Intag residents and environmental activists gathered in front of the courthouse for a peaceful protest during the trial of Javier Ramírez on January 30:

“We’re doing what we’ve always done for the past 20 years”, José Cueva explained to the TVN network. “We have supreme respect for our Mother Earth; we want to protect our water and propose numerous alternative projects to keep us from falling into the trap of mining and relentless development.”

The government sees commodities as the key to the future

The Ecuadorian government wants to fill its coffers by exploiting the country’s mineral wealth – oil, natural gas, copper, gold and molybdenum – for export to the industrialized countries.

President Rafael Correa’s administration is relying heavily on Canadian and Chinese companies. China has granted Ecuador billions of dollars in loans for social programs and extensive infrastructure and industrial projects.

The government’s plans do not leave any room for the rainforests or their inhabitants, however. Anyone who stands in the way of the projects or criticizes Correa’s “21st-century socialism” is living dangerously.

Environmentalists and indigenous people are “terrorists”

People and groups that protest the destruction of the environment are subjected to systematic threats, coercion and criminalization with the approval of the highest levels of government. Ecuador’s President Correa has repeatedly accused environmentalists, human rights activists and indigenous people of being infantile and backward. Correa: “Do not believe the romantic environmentalists – anyone who opposes the development of the country is a terrorist.”

Intag activists have frequently found themselves at the receiving end of Correa’s attacks. InUrgent Action – Ecuador: Fear for Safety of Environmental Activists, Amnesty International writes: “…on 28 September, President Rafael Correa broadcast photos and details of Intag activists, including Carlos Zorrilla, during his weekly televised address to the nation. He characterized their activities as “destabilizing” and as foreign-led interference with government policies. During another televised speech on 7 December, the President accused Carlos Zorrilla and other individuals again of defending foreign interests and called on the Ecuadorians to react.”

Carlos Zorrilla is a founding member of Intag Environmental Defense and Conservation (Defensa y Conservación Ecologica de Intag, DECOIN), an organization working to protect the ecosystem of the Intag region.

Members of German parliament unwelcome

A delegation of the German parliament that wanted to travel to Yasuní, an Ecuadorian national park in the Amazon rainforest threatened by oil drilling, was refused entry by the Ecuadorian Interior Ministry.

For good measure, President Correa also canceled official development cooperation with Germany in the environmental sector. In one of his television addresses, he even offered to transfer twice the amount of Germany’s international development aid back to Germany, suggesting that German policymakers should spend the money on courses in etiquette.

Killings of indigenous people

The president’s verbal aggression has bred a climate of intolerance and hatred. Many indigenous people in Ecuador have been killed for standing up against oil and copper mining projects in the rainforest.

According to the Guardian, indigenous leader José Isidro Tendetza Antun was last seen alive on his way to a meeting of protesters against the Mirador mine on November 28, 2014. His body was found on December 2 on the banks of the Zamora River in southern Ecuador – beaten, with broken bones and his hands tied behind his back.

The authorities had buried the body in an anonymous grave and did not notify his next of kin, presumably to cover up his death. As a leader of the Shuar people, José stood in the way of the vast Mirador mine on the border to Peru.

Mirador mining project

In the words of President Correa, the Mirador mine in the Amazon rainforest will usher in a new era of mining. “Ecuador could have the second largest copper mine in the world”, he said. “We can no longer sit as beggars on a pot of gold.” The Chinese mining company EcuaCorriente intends to produce 2.9 million tons of copper for export in Mirador.

TVN broadcast on the protest outside the courthouse in Ibarra on Jan 30, 2015 (in Spanish):

Inicio audiencia de juzgamiento de Javier Ramírez

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