Expertas y expertos de la ONU llaman a consultas sustantivas para proyectos mineros en Ecuador (comunicado de prensa)

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UN experts call for meaningful consultations on Ecuador’s  mining projects

GENEVA (13 May 2024) – Ecuador authorities should ensure that environmental  consultations in relation to mining projects are aligned with human rights standards, notably by including all communities that will potentially be affected by these extractive activities, and by respecting their right to freedoms of expression and assembly, UN experts* said today.

“We are concerned that the failure to convene all potentially affected people, together with the lack of full and impartial information regarding the potential negative consequences of these projects have exacerbated social conflict,” they said.

To reactivate mining projects, halted due to social conflicts, Ecuador’s Government has established a process of environmental consultation prior authorising the resumption of these projects. However, a number of potentially affected Indigenous Peoples and communities were excluded and information provided was incomplete. These include residents of the parishes of Las Pampas and Palo Quemado, in the Province of Cotopaxi, near to the mining project La Plata SA, and the canton of Las Naves, Province of Bolivar, near to the Curipampa- El Domo project, owned by Salazar Resources Ltd. and Adventus Mining Corporation. Both are Canadian-owned companies.

“Discontent in the communities has been exacerbated by the temporary deployment of dozens of police and military personnel in Palo Quema, causing clashes between the security forces and community members,” the experts said.  More than 70 human rights defenders, including Indigenous leaders, have been criminally charged for opposing these projects and criticising the way in which the consultations are being held.

“We are concerned that several complaints have been filed by the companies responsible for the projects as a retaliation measure against human rights defenders and protesters. This would be in contradiction with their responsibility to respect human rights, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” the experts said.

“Consultation and participation processes in the context of mining projects must be in line with international standards, providing space for dialogue with all potentially affected parties, which should be fully informed prior the start of any project. The right to free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples must be respected, as well as the rights of Afro descendants,” the experts said.

The experts have previously engaged with the Governments of Ecuador and Canada, as well as the involved companies on these issues.


* The experts : Robert McCorquodale (Chair-Rapporteur), Fernanda Hopenhaym (Vice-Chair), Pichamon Yeophantong, Damilola Olawuyi, Elzbieta Karska, Working Group on business and human rights; Astrid Puentes Riaño, Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment ; Barbara G. Reynolds (Chair), Bina D’Costa, Dominique Day, Catherine Namakula and Miriam Ekiudoko, Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; Marcos A. Orellana, Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and José Francisco Calí Tzay, Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.


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