The Government of Ecuador announced that it temporarily suspended mining rights in an area of the country’s Amazon, affected by severe pollution caused by illegal mineral extraction.
The Minister of Energy, Juan Carlos Bermeo, during an appearance before the National Assembly (Parliament), announced that all mining rights in force in the Yutzupino region, near the city of Tena, the capital of the Amazon province of Napo, will be suspended. .
The measure seeks to protect the environment and the populations of the area, Bermeo remarked in statements reproduced by his office in a statement.
“We have made a radical decision to temporarily suspend mining activities, until all the damages registered as a result of the illegal extraction of minerals are corrected,” the minister emphasized.
He pointed out that the Ministry will issue a resolution to make the measure effective, based on the technical reports of specialized agencies such as the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Energy and Natural Resources and the Ministry of the Environment.
As soon as the resolution is issued, “no type of mining activity in the area” can be carried out, Bermeo stressed, after noting that the Executive is willing to prevent polluting illegal mining from emerging, as has happened in other sectors of the country. country.
More than a thousand military and police personnel carried out an operation last Saturday against illegal mining sites in the Yutzupino area, where machinery and people who opposed the entry of the security forces were located.
Said operation took place after environmental groups warned of severe contamination and alleged violations of rights that were recorded in that area.
The organization Acción Ecológica had warned of a “devastation in Yutzupino”, where it estimated the presence of more than 3,000 people related to illegal mining.
Likewise, the environmental group had denounced the existence in the area of cases of “domestic violence, unexplained deaths, alcoholism, sexual exploitation of girls,” among other crimes.
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