The Chamber of Mining of Ecuador, through its president María Eulalia Silva, “congratulated” the national government for declaring illegal mining a threat against state security.
The executive, who gave a press conference on the afternoon of January 26, also urged the Judiciary to join the “crusade against illegal mining.”
“Security zones should be established near mining districts. This does not mean that human rights will be violated, but that the communities in these areas will be protected. It also does not mean that the police become security companies for legal mining companies.”, he indicated.
Cosepe declares illegal mining a threat to state security and will support legal mining in the face of warnings from Conaie
He affirmed that the subsoil resources belong to the Ecuadorian State and it is the State that must administer them. He said this in relation to the declarations of leaders of the Conaie and the National Anti-Mining Front who announced actions to counteract the presence of the state public force in their territories where there is a presence of legal mining projects.
“These resources are converted into welfare, into taxes and by being illegally exploited they are being stolen from the State, from all Ecuadorians. Illegal mining operates without any type of social or environmental license. Illegal mining is creating huge environmental liabilities”, he added.
We support and applaud the firm decision of the Government of @LassoGuillermo. Industrial mining is one of the areas with the greatest contribution to the economic and social development of Ecuador. 🇪🇨 The real enemy of Ecuadorians is illegal mining, not it #MiningDoneRight. https://t.co/YUjea4G48D
— Chamber of Mining of Ecuador (@mineriaecuador) January 26, 2023
In addition, he defended legal mining and stated that macroeconomic figures are already demonstrating the benefits of this sector: “For two years, 13 out of every 100 Zamorans have been lifted out of poverty thanks to industrial mining. Zamora Chinchipe, which is home to industrial mines, has reduced poverty by thirteen points. Since formal mining began operations, it has generated close to 6,000 million in exports”.
Mining leads the list of ten non-traditional export products from Ecuador; canned fish and metal manufactures complete the podium
He indicated that illegal mining also affects his sector directly due to the environmental liabilities it leaves behind and that are being attributed to formal companies. “In a country where illegal mining is new, there is much ignorance. The mineral resources are going to be exploited, the question is how do we want them to be exploited?”.
On January 26, the State Public Security Council (Cosepe) resolved to declare illegal mining a threat to the comprehensive security of the State and will “support” legal mining.
The head of the National Secretariat for Public Security, Diego Ordóñez, announced that this declaration will be made viable with actions that will be implemented in an executive decree to be signed by the President of the Republic, Guillermo Lasso.
He recognized that this decision seeks to prevent “characters with a political agenda from trying to affect the possibility that these productive activities contribute to the development of the country.” (YO)
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