Mining Committee Conference

At the headquarters of CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador), on the 15th of February, the Mining Committee met with with representatives of the Ministries of Mining, Environment and the Secretary of Political Management. After a detailed analysis and debate, CONAIE and their regional members agree upon the following;

Considering that;

-For us, the Indigenous Nations of Ecuador, Industrial mining of metals are not projects which bring development to our communities, on the contrary,these activities have caused the destruction of our ancestral territories, and impoverished our communities. It is clear that the economic gains are given more importance than concerns for human wellbeing.

-The divisive, paternalistic policies employed by the mining companies with the support of the government in order to infiltrate Indigenous territories and undertake mega mining projects, have created conflicts within the grassroots organisations.

-After not complying with the Mining Mandate, the previous Government imposed a policy of expansion of industrial metal mining concessions in all areas of the country; above all (mainly gold, silver and copper) where the use of machinery and technology greatly intensifies the social and environmental impacts of these activities. In the case of Tundayme, according to the Comptroller General’s report, more than 300 water sources were contaminated along with the destruction of hundreds of hectares of rainforest, and the dispossession of the local people. These extractive policies also provoked the death of Jose Tendentsa which has not been solved..

-The Chinese mining company Explorcobres S.A. renewed their advanced exploration operations in the San Carlos Panantsa project, and with the support of police and the military evicted the Nankin community. The people were forced to leave their homes and abandon their agricultrual fields, which were later destroyed. Since then the San Juan Bosco en Morona Santiago region in the San Carlos de Panantsa Parish continues to be a military zone.

-The processes of prior consultation carried out by the state, which guarantees the collective rights of the indigenous nationalities and peoples have in fact been flawed and malicious and mechanisms which haven´t represented the feelings of the communities, people and nationalities; on the contrary, they’ve created division within the organizations, and forced evictions , increasing conflicts within the communities, which have benefitted the transnational companies.

In light of this, the CONAIE resolves to;

  1. Through a Presidential Decree, declare Ecuador free of industrial metal-mining.. This will be accompanied by a process of law creation which the Indigenous Movement organisations commit to drafting a draft to be delivered to the National Assembly.

  2. Jointly with the Government and CONAIE, draft a law governing Prior Consent,, given that the current procedure violates human rights, collective rights and the rights of Nature.

  3. Conduct environmental audits and supervision of mining activities through the respective State authorities, in order to understand the reality of these activities and their impacts upon the social, economic, cultural, environmental and labour spheres. This audit will be carried out by a multidisciplinary commission formed by the National Government, CONAIE and mining companies. This process also should include oversight by other national and international organizations.

  4. In light of the illegality demonstrated in the Condor Mirador and San Carlos Panantsa projects, we will urge the National Government to annul the decisions of the previous government and to suspend immediately all mining activities which affect Ancestral Territories. To this end we propose to create a special commission for the Nankin and Tundayme cases, to address and compensate human and collective rights violations which the people and the communities have suffered; in addition to the restitution of territories that were handed over to the transnational mining companies, as weññ as immediately compensating and restitution of environmental, psychological, cultural and economic damages, and therefore put an end to the current conflicts in these territories.

  5. Reform the mining law so that it allows Indigenous Nationalities and Peoples to directly benefit from the mining profits, which will serve to execute our common goals and projects.

  6. Revert or annul the concessions which were granted after the 11th of December, which was when the end of mining concessions was announced.

  7. Together with the Ministers of Environment, and of Mining, the Water Secreteriat and Minister of Political Management, with the Presidents of CONAIE and its regional members, terrirotiral leaders, grassroots community federations, in addition to a technical team; plan and carry out a series of visits to the areas where Industrial metal mining activities are taking place.


Claudio Washikiat,

Territorial leader of CONAIE,

Coordinator of the Board of Territory and Biodiversity.

Tuntiak Katan,

Territorial leader of CONAIE,

Coordinator of the Board of Territory and Biodiversity.