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EL CÓNDOR AND YASUNÍ: TWO EMBLEMS OF THE STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY AND PACHAMAMA March 11, 2012

Posted by rogerhollander in Ecuador, Energy, Environment, Latin America.
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On 5 March 2012, President Correa slapped the faces of the Ecuadorian people and the international community by signing Ecuador’s first big mining contract. Unconstitutional and riddled with irregularities, the contract – with the Chinese-owned company Ecuacorriente (ECSA) – is for operations in the Cordillera del Cóndor

Adding to the insult, Correa signed the contract on Yasuni Day, exactly three years after indigenous peoples, municipal authorities and NGOs came together to announce their support for the initiative to keep oil in the ground in Yasuni National Park in the west of the country as a first step toward a post-petroleum Ecuador.

Yasuní and the Cordillera del Cóndor are two sides of the same reality. Both are indigenous territories and zones of high biodiversity – perfect locations for building sumak kawsay. But both have the misfortune of holding underground resources of great interest to international capital, oil in Yasuni and gold and copper in the Cordillera del Cóndor.

Both regions, too, are in the sights of the new Chinese capitalists. “The more they can lend us, the better,” Correa said on 16 February. “If they can make long-term loans to me, there are no limits.

China has a “surplus of liquidity and a shortage of hydrocarbons,” Correa went on, “while we have a surplus of hydrocarbons and a shortage of liquidity. China finances the USA and could pull Ecuador out of underdevelopment.”

If Correa is unlikely to allow the exploitation of Yasuni-ITT this year, it is only because to do so would endanger his re-election. But if he is returned to office, the area is probably doomed to an oily future.

The government has apparently learned nothing from the Texaco case and the high costs of reparation for environmental damage. Nor, seemingly, has it learned anything from the continent’s mining disasters, nor its experience of the close relationship between impoverishment and extractivism. The government’s actions are systematically in breach of the new Ecuadorian constitution, and Correa’s supporters continually display their racism and disdain of the indigenous world with slogans like “Down with those that want to continue living on top of a gold mountain!

Nevertheless, we will continue working against the new 21st century extractivism. We hold to a different vision – of mobilization, popular consultations, and resistance.

THE YASUNÍ WEB PAGE IS OFF-LINE AS A PROTEST AND SIGN OF MOURNING ON THE OCCASION OF THE IMMENSE TRAGEDY OF THE SIGNING OF THE FIRST CONTRACT FOR LARGE-SCALE OPEN PIT MINING IN ECUADOR. WE WILL BE BACK ONLINE AT THE TIME OF THE ARRIVAL IN QUITO OF THE SOUTHERN PEOPLES’ MARCH DEDICATED TO RECLAIMING A COUNTRY OF PURE WATER, FORESTS, FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND LIFE.

_______________________________________________ Yasuni_en mailing list Yasuni_en@listas.amazoniaporlavida.org http://listas.amazoniaporlavida.org/listinfo.cgi/yasuni_en-amazoniaporlavida.org

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