Ecuadorian judge halts controversial mine project


Río Blanco opponents say the mine threatens upland water sources. (Photo courtesy of Radio Temblor Internacional)

A civil-court judge in southern Ecuador has ordered the suspension of construction of a gold and silver mine that in 2016 was designated as one of six mining projects of strategic importance by the country’s president at the time, Rafael Correa. The indigenous plaintiffs hailed the June 5 ruling as a historic win for community and environmental rights. Located in Río Blanco, a community of the same name in southern Ecuador’s Molleturo parish, the partially constructed mine occupies a region inhabited by descendants of the Cañari and Quichua indigenous groups. They were represented by the Confederation of Peoples of Quichua Nationality of Ecuador (Ecuarunari), an association of highland communities that includes 14 other indigenous groups. The project site’s surroundings, known for high levels of... [Log in to read more]

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