The Struggle Between Ecuador’s Indigenous Shuar and the Mega-Mining Project That’s Displacing Them

The indigenous Shuar People of the Ecuadorean Amazon are taking action to reclaim homelands. The Shuar say their lands were taken from them without consultation or consent and given to Ecsa Ecuacorriente, a Chinese mining company.

 

Originally published by Remezcla. By Brian Miranda. 23 November 2016.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-10-47-34
In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize the
rights of nature in its constitution, giving its natural communities and
ecosystems the right to exist and persist. It was a progressive and
unprecedented legal move. But since then, the Ecuadorian government
under Rafael Correa has green lit numerous massive development projects
helmed by Chinese companies, including a controversial copper mining
project in the Amazonian territory of the Indigenous Shuar people.

For years, the Shuar have been fighting to halt the project, called El
Mirador, noting that it would “irreversibly damage the region’s fragile
ecosystem and violate the legal rights of indigenous peoples to live,
develop and control their land and territory,” according to China
Dialogue. And on Monday, the conflict escalated after a group of Shuar
reportedly clashed with police and military troops following attempts to
recover ancestral territory from Chinese mining operations, as reported
by Indigenous leaders and state officials.

Clashes came as Shuar nationals from the Nankints community in the
Amazonian province of Morona Santiago coordinated an incursion into a
mining camp of the Chinese company Ecsa Ecuacorriente at dawn on Monday.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that Indigenous Shuar
participated in an “unexpected armed attack” against the Ecsa camp,
which they say is the “legal landowner.”

Seven police officers were allegedly injured during the Shuar’s
take-over, Interior Minister Diego Fuentes said on his official Twitter
account Tuesday morning.

Fuentes reported, at 12 PM EST on Tuesday, that control over the
territory was restored. Indigenous political leaders in close contact
with Shuars on the ground, however, say clashes still continue.

“The warriors of Nankints continue fighting and the military represses
with brutality,” Severino Sharupi, leader of territories and natural
resources of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador
(Conaie), reported on Twitter.

Shuar leaders said in a press release on Monday that the coordinated
take-over comes as a result of military and police raids that forcibly
evicted 32 Shuars from their land to make room for open-cast pit mining
operations.

“This is why the Shuar Nation takes decisions to expel the company and
to rescue what by right and legitimate position belongs to us,” the
press release stated.

They further urged the military to abstain from violence and called on
other Shuars and Indigenous communities from the Amazon to join them in
solidarity as part of a larger fight against military presence and
state-backed extractivism in the rainforest.

“Our brothers who are there right now have told us that they will fight
until the last consequences,” Marlon Vargas, President of the
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon
(Confenaie) said at a press conference Tuesday morning.

“If anything were to happen there, any disgrace, to our brothers; the
only responsible one will be the government of (president) Rafael
Correa. We will stand up to fight and we will not desist, whatever the
costs. That’s the decision we’ve made in the Amazon,” Vargas added.

A woman who was evicted from her home in San Marcos on September 30,
2015, searches the location where her house was for belongings. The
location for the Mirador Mine pit is just beyond the nearest ridge in
the distance. Photo by Beth Wald.

Under the San Carlos Panantza copper project, the Ecuadorian government
conceded 41 thousand hectares of land to the Chinese mining company ECSA
for a period of 25 years. The project, which is currently in the
exploration phase, is estimated to deliver around $1200 million USD in
annual profits.

Shuar communities, however, say they were neither informed nor consulted
prior to the forced evictions, which they claim violate their
constitutional rights.

Tensions between Indigenous groups in the Amazon and the national
government have heightened after the same mining project pushed dozens
of families from their land in the Amazonian province of Zamora
Chinchipe in 2015.

Meanwhile in 2014, José Isidro Tendetza Antún, a leader of the Shuar
people in Zamora Chinchipe and prominent activist against Chinese mining
operations, was found dead under unknown circumstances.

Related Posts

Elementos para proteger a su comunidad de las industrias extractiva
Pregunta sobre minería en la Consulta y Referendum llevada a cabo en Ecuador el 4 de febrero 2018
The False Dilemma of Popular Consultations in Colombia
Arracacha: people of Cajamarca and Colombian businesses show there’s prosperity without mining
Gachantivá follows the example of municipalities defending their territory in Colombia
AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER  WITH HISTORICAL BURDEN in Argentina
Urgent call to save the Nangaritza River and the Condor Mountain Range:  Ecuador under threat
LEAKAGES, POLLUTION AND SILENCED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS in Jachal, Argentina
The Colombian government has a new strategy to limit popular consultations but communities are proving it wrong
Seeking Justice for Rape, Murder & Repression in the Mining Industry: The Hudbay Minerals/CGN lawsuits
Panorama Mine: Mapping French mining projects
En Guatemala: Ola de represión y criminalización a la resistencia pacífica contra la mina Tahoe Resources
Ecuador: Azuay en alerta ante el extractivismo minero
Hands off Intag- Municipality of Cotacachi, Ecuador, calls on world’s largest mining company to leave its territory
National and international organizations ask the Colombian Constitutional Court to stop the recoil of Popular Consultations
Comité Ambiental at the UN: Colombia should respect popular consultations
Ibagué, first capital city in Colombia to prohibit polluting mining
Press-release on the Outrage against environmental leaders in Cajamarca, Colombia – By the Youth Socio-environmental collective group of Cajamarca COSAJUCA 
Jachal, Argentina states it will not allow a covenant with darkness
Pijao and Arbeláez say No to mining and hydrocarbons
Ecuador: DECOIN win major United Nations conservation prize
Jericó and Támesis: Colombian municipalities find new ways to stay mining-free
Cumaral, Meta: Another resounding victory for life, land & water in Colombia
¿La Minería es Sustentable?
Jericó le dijo no a la minería de metales
POLITICAL DECLARATION FOR THE IX MARCHA CARNAVAL IN DEFENSE OF WATER, LIFE AND TERRITORY
SOUTHWEST ANTIOQUIA, COLOMBIA, IN ALERT FOR LARGE-SCALE MINING
Marcha Carnaval: A global day of action to protect water and life from mining
Cumarál to hold popular consultation on oil extraction in Andes foothills
Que Aprendí Consulta Popular Cajamarca Tolima | What we learn from Popular Consultations against Mining
VICTORY! Peruvian Supreme Court Acquits Máxima Acuña de Chaupe
La tragedia de El Dorado: Un salvavidas para el Rio Atrato
A New Spill of Cyanide Solution in Jáchal, Argentina takes villagers to request a Popular Consultation
The women behind El Salvador’s historic environmental victory- AWID
Colossal Result in Cajamarca, Colombia Regarding Mining: building on the debate
Cajamarca: Central Colombian town bans ‘world’s largest open pit goldmine’
¿Cuáles son los efectos de la consulta popular en Cajamarca?
A Colossal Choice: Cajamarca prepares to decide whether to ban mining
No to industrial mega-mining for gold in French Guiana! Non à la méga-mine d’or industrielle en Guyane!  ¡No a la mega mina de oro en la Guayana Francesa!
Resistance, exchange, (post)extractivism: YLNM Coordinators meet in Galicia- in photos
New map shows how Latin American women are resisting violent extractivism
Cabrera: New Popular Consultation wins over mining in Colombia
Ecuador’s ‘progressive’ extractivism – mining, ecocide and the silencing of dissent
Persecution Persists of Shuar Indigenous Leaders in Ecuador
Origins of the mining conflict in Nankints, Ecuador

Origins of the mining conflict in Nankints, Ecuador

  • Written on: 23 February 2017
  • Posted under: Videos
Declaration on the assassination of Aldemar Parra Garcia
‘Together we are the inextinguishable fever’: Ecuadorean Government ends attempt to close Acción Ecologica
Aldemar Parra Garcia: Community leader and mining critic assassinated in Cesar, Colombia
Urgent Action to stop double persecution against Shuar communities and Accion Ecologica NGO in Ecuador
Dozens of International Organizations and Networks Call for an End to State of Emergency and Militarization in Ecuador’s Southern Amazon
Cajamarca’s Popular Referendum on Mining- An Update from Colombia
The Struggle Between Ecuador’s Indigenous Shuar and the Mega-Mining Project That’s Displacing Them
Proyecto minero chino genera convulsión en territorio Shuar en la Parroquia Panantza San Carlos, Morona Santiago
Cajamarca: Popular Referendum on mining irresponsibly arranged for Sunday 27th November
BHP Billiton employees face criminal charges on Brazil dam disaster
Colombian Constitutional Court strengthens support for popular consultations on mining as referendum in Ibague, Colombia, put on hold
Support Maxima Acuna: Sign an open letter to Yanacocha mining company and the Peruvian government
Support the people of Ibague, Colombia, to have their say on mining and show the way to peace
#AxeDrax: Campaigners unite for climate justice against coal and bioenergy-fueled deforestation
Peru: Maxima Acuña and Partner Attacked by Mining Firm’s Guards
Declaratoria final del Encuentro mexicano de resistencias contra el modelo extractivo
Colombia: Support the people of Ibague to have their say on mining!
URGENT ACTION : #RIGHT2RIP : TELL AURA MINERALS TO RESPECT THE DEAD AND THE LIVING IN HONDURAS!
TWO HUNDRED INDIGENOUS U’WA OCCUPY GAS PLANT IN COLOMBIA
Environmental Defenders Met with Paramilitary Death Threats in Tolima, Colombia
NETWORK OF ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEES IN TOLIMA CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT OVER DEATH THREATS
Me’phaa Indigenous Fight Mexicans Mining Act
Indigenous Governance and Mining in Bolivia
Ye’kwana, Sanema and Pemon Peoples’ Declaration Against Orinoco Mining Belt
The Story of Ixtepec, Mexico: Protecting Land, Establishing No Go Zones for Mining
One woman’s victory against a mining giant in Peru
Jaime Chaupe, husband of Maxima Acuña, reports gunshots fired at family home
Peruvian farmer wins 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for fighting world’s 2nd largest gold miner to a standstill
US and Canadian Mining Companies Seek to Sue Colombia for $16.5billion
Fight with Joy: Remembering Berta Caceres

Fight with Joy: Remembering Berta Caceres

Peticion:  Mujeres denuncian que proyectos extractivos generan violencia
Ibagué will be the first city in the world to take mining to public scrutiny
Upholding Democracy: Supporting Ibague’s Popular Consultation on Mining
In the name of poverty eradication: The terrible costs of Ecuador’s extractivist policies
Colombia in focus (II): Those opposing mining are considered terrorists
Colombia in focus: Mining, destroying and displacing indigenous people
Victory as Colombia bans mining in water-rich Paramos!
To Mine or not to Mine, that is the Question – Referendum in Tolima, Colombia
Peru: ALERT Renewed attacks against Máxima Acuña de Chaupe
Ditch coal now! The global destruction caused by the UK’s coal power generation
Water and Peace for Diodora Hernandez and her Family in Guatemala
Wampis Establish First Autonomous Indigenous Government in Peru
Anti-mining protesters occupy downtown Cusco

Anti-mining protesters occupy downtown Cusco

Ditch Coal

Ditch Coal

At the Coalface: Ten more years of UK coal burning a lifetime on the ground
Report: Ecuacorriente S.A’s Mirador Project forcibly evicting communities
Impactos De La Industria Mineria Sobre Los  Derechos De La Mujeres En Latinoamerica
The Path of the Anacondas: Protecting the Amazon-Andes-Atlantic Corridor
‘Cowfunding’: Support the Acuña-Chaupe Family to protect their lands
A Message of Solidarity to the People of Mariana, Brazil
Peru – Mining and Human Rights Defenders

Peru – Mining and Human Rights Defenders

  • Written on: 10 December 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Take Action: Canadian Aura Minerals Inc. Using Threats And Illegal Detentions To Crush Protests And Expand Gold Mine Into 200-year Old Cemetery In Honduras
Yes to Life, No to Mining participates in the workshop “Mining and Energy Multinational Companies Strategies and Participation Mechanisms for Communities Defending their Territory” – Caquetá, Colombia
Peru Signs Bill to Protect 5,000sq Miles of Amazon from Mining
Solidaridad internacional con el Frente de Mujeres defensoras de la Pachamama ante ataque de la fuerza pública
Victory for U’wa Nation in quest to defend territory
DECLARACION PUBLICA: Por despojados de las tierras de pobladores de Tundayme para explotación minera por la empresa china EcuaCorriente S.A. (Ecsa)
Community lay bare Codelco’s impacts in Intag, Ecuador
Maxima Acuña and Elmer Campos tell the World Bank how their investment has destroyed their lives
‘Capitalism is Mother Earth’s Cancer’: World People’s Summit Issues 12 Demands
Tapping into Peru’s mining conflict

Tapping into Peru’s mining conflict

  • Written on: 09 October 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Payada pa Satan

Payada pa Satan

  • Written on: 08 October 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
El Salvador vs Pacific Rim: The Price of Saying ‘No’ to a Gold Mine
Peru: A “Long March Of Sacrifice” To Protest Mining Damage
21 Reasons not to mine copper in Intag, Ecuador

21 Reasons not to mine copper in Intag, Ecuador

Deforestation in Peru: Building a dramatic future in the Amazon and the Andean Region
Mining Company Ousted by Zapotec Community in Mexico

Mining Company Ousted by Zapotec Community in Mexico

  • Written on: 23 September 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Yaigojé-Apaporis: Colombian Constitutional Court decision to reject mining could change the history of the Amazon
Qoyllur Riti tradition could be threatened by mining exploration
Fighting Conga: an emblematic case – Perú
Antofagasta Mining Region Reflects Chile’s Inequality
#StopBeloSun

#StopBeloSun

Ecuador Victims Can Seek Compensation from Chevron, Canada Supreme Court Rules
Our Resistance, Our Hope: Unity Statement of the International People’s Conference on Mining
Court Halts Mining in Yaigoje Apaporis National Park
For the Love of Water: El Salvador’s Mining Ban

For the Love of Water: El Salvador’s Mining Ban

Collected Readings on Post-Extractivism
Intag, Ecuador: Community projects as alternatives to mining (Espanol)
Free Eduardo Mosqueda!

Free Eduardo Mosqueda!

Social Cartography: opportunities for social movements, activism and resistance in South Africa and Zimbabwe
Report: Oil Dependency and the Peruvian Amazon
Venezuelan Social Movements Rally Against State Coal Mining Decree
Perú shouts to defend their land from Tía María mining project
Colombia was part of the Global Day for Action Against Mega Mining
Mercury, contaminating agent – information leaflet
Caquetá, Colombia blocks petroleum extraction in the Andes-Amazon foothills
Local researchers from YAIA receive the Equator Initiative Prize from UNDP in the Amazon
ACTION: Stand with human rights defender Victor Cruz Chi, his family and the people of Zacualpán!
Peru: YLNM ally GRUFIDES denounces attempts to defame mining resistance
A Guide for the Defense of Water
YLNM Global Solidarity Network promotes the Great Carnival Parade in Colombia
La Lucha de Intag

La Lucha de Intag

  • Written on: 15 May 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
TAKE URGENT ACTION: Earth defender Javier Ramirez sentenced to jail
#AxeDrax: UK must end support for coal and biomass reaped from US and Colombia
Intag’s Recurrent Nightmare: Adding Up The Costs Of Ecuador’s Mineral Wars
Colombia in defense of water and the páramo high mountain ecosystems
Guatemalan Women Fight Back Against A Canadian Mining Company
Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians

Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians

  • Written on: 08 April 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Se plantea una Consulta Comunitaria para decir no a la minería en Pacto, Ecuador
Indigenous peoples of Putumayo stand firm to protect territories & way of life from mining
URGENT! POLICE ENTER MAXIMA ACUNA’S LAND AND DESTROY HER HOME FOR A THIRD TIME
The Legacy of Drummond in Colombia

The Legacy of Drummond in Colombia

  • Written on: 12 March 2015
  • Posted under: Videos
Honduran Organizations Demand Support for Farming Not Mining
Ecuador: NO to mining in the rainforest #LibertadparaJavierRamirez
Yaigojé Apaporis – conocimiento tradicional, el corazón en proteger la Amazonia Colombiana
Yaigojé Apaporis – traditional knowledge at the heart of protecting the Colombian Amazon
Territories Free of Mining on the Rise in Honduras
In Solidarity – En Solidaridad

In Solidarity – En Solidaridad

  • Written on: 11 December 2014
  • Posted under: Videos
Máxima versus the U.S. mining conglomerate in Peru
Campaign Against Oil Exploitation in Peru: Pastaza Film

Campaign Against Oil Exploitation in Peru: Pastaza Film

  • Written on: 14 November 2014
  • Posted under: Campaigns
United in resistance – Letters spark solidarity across continents
Agriculture: Our Hope For the Future. An Interview with Mariana Gomez
Yaigoje Apaporis, threatened by gold mining in Colombia
We Can’t Drink Oil: Indigenous Peoples of Peru Speak Out

Start a Conversation. Share Words of Solidarity.

This website is about building a movement. We can only build a movement when we connect with one another. We invite you to do just that…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *