Dear Members of Global Response's "Quick Response Network:"
In 1997 we celebrated a victory with the people of the Junin region of
Ecuador, when we supported their efforts to stop development of copper mines
by Bishimetals, a Mitsubishi subsidiary. Bishimetals abandoned its Junin
project in 1997, but now the Ecuadorean government is auctioning the Junin
mining concession to the highest bidder. The date of the auction is August
15 -- giving us just a few days to lend international support to the Junin
people in their determination to stop mining in their communities. The
municipal government declared Cotacachi County an "ecological county" and
passed an ordinance prohibiting "all non-sustainable activities that pose a
threat to the health of the communities and the environment."  The federal
government is ignoring this ordinance and the expressed opposition of the
local population to mining.
David Brower once cautioned that in our work to protect the environment, all
defeats are permanent, and all victories are temporary. Please sign on to
the letter below (see instructions after the letter) or send a fax/email to
the Ecuadorean officials listed. Let's help the people of Cotacachi County
win this critical second round in their struggle for locally driven
sustainable development vs environmentally destructive mining by
multinational corporations.
Be sure to send your fax/email before August 15. Thanks for your
--Paula Palmer
Please sign onto this letter that DECOIN (Defensa y Conservation Ecologica
de Intag) and MPC are writing to Mr. Gustavo Noboa, President of Ecuador,
and Mr. Pablo Teran, the Minister of Energy and Mines in Ecuador, to express
our support for the communities of Intag in Ecuador and to put pressure on
the Ecuadorian government to stop granting concessions through auctions that
have to do with studies, exploration, and mining exploitation in the
Cotacachi County.  Attached below is the letter signed on August 3, 2002 by
all six Parish government presidents of the Intag Area, asking for a
suspension of the auction of the Junin mining concession, set for August 15,
2002, by the Ministry of Energy and Mines.  In addition, it calls for the
suspension of all further mining concessions in Cotacachi County.  The
decision by the Parish government representatives have full support of local
organizations and communities including DECOIN, AACRI (Rio Intag Coffee
Growers' Association), plus the environmental authorities of Cotacachi
Dear President Noboa,
The undersigned organizations call on the government of Ecuador to accept
the will of the communities of the Intag region in Cotacachi County to
suspend the auction of the Junin mining concession set for August 15, 2002
by the Ministry of Energy and Mines and to stop ceding all concessions and
auctions having to do with studies, exploration and mining exploitation in
the Cotacachi County.
We ask the Ecuadorian government to respect the Municipal Ordinance proposed
by the people of Intag and approved by the Municipal government in 2000,
declaring Cotacachi an Ecological County.  The Municipal Ordinance prohibits
all non-sustainable activities that pose a threat to the health of the
communities and the environment.  The ordinance strictly prohibits the
introduction of dangerous substances into the environment as defined in
Article 43, which states that "the establishment of industries or any other
productive activity, which involves the use of, or threatens to introduce
into the environment, noxious substances, such as heavy metals, including
mercury, cyanide, lead and cadmium, is hereby prohibited."  The ordinance
also specifically prohibits mining in native forests.  The preamble states
that "the native forests of Cotacachi produce basic goods and services for a
wide range of the county's citizens. Thus, they may not be felled or
degraded in order to make way for industrial activities such as forestry,
flower, or African palm plantations, timber and mining projects, or any
other activity of this kind."
The Intag region is a very important buffer area of the Cotacachi-Cayapas
Ecological Reserve, one of the most biologically diverse protected areas in
the world, and the only protected area of any significant size in all of
Western Ecuador.  E.O. Wilson, one of the world's leading scientists and
often hailed as "the father of biodiversity" pointed out in his personal
letter to Carlos Zorrilla, President of DECOIN, to assist them in the fight
against the Mitsubishi Junin copper project in Oct. 1997:
As I pointed out in my book, The Diversity of Life, the forests in western
Ecuador are among the hottest of the hot spots of the world, meaning they
are among the most endangered ecosystems, down to less than 10% their
original extent...and also contain exceptionally large numbers of plant and
animals species found nowhere else in the world.
The Municipal Ordinance supports sustainable development. These alternative
sustainable development projects being carried out in Cotacachi, include a
sustainable coffee project, with over 300 families from all over the Intag
region participating.  The coffee is currently being sold in the fair trade
market in Japan, Ecuador and internationally. There are also several
community ecotourism projects, and many private and community ecological
In keeping with the commitments of the Municipal Ordinance, we ask the
Ecuadorian government to suspend the auction of the Junin mining concession
set for August 15, 2002 by the Ministry of Energy and Mines and to stop
ceding all concessions and auctions having to do with studies, exploration
and mining exploitation in the Cotacachi County.
We, the undersigned organizations respect and support the communities of the
Intag region and their commitment to promoting sustainable development
projects and preserving their environment.  Thank you for your attention.
End of letter.
Please contact Clare Stark at Mineral Policy Center of your desire to sign
on, at:
"Clare Stark"  The letter will also be sent to
mining companies in Ecuador.
If you wish to write your own letter to the Ecuadorian government please fax
the following contacts
Mr. Gustavo Noboa
President of Ecuador
Despacho de Presidencia
Palacio Carondelet
Quito Ecuador
Fax: 5932 258 0710
Mr. Pablo Teran
Minister of Energy and Mines
Quito, Ecuador
Fax: +5932 290 6350

Paula Palmer, Executive Director
Global Response
P.O. Box 7490
Boulder CO 80306
TEL: 303-444-0306
FAX: 303-449-9794
Global Response empowers people of all ages, cultures, and nationalities to
protect the environment by creating partnerships for effective citizen
action.  At the request of indigenous peoples and grassroots organizations,
Global Response organizes international letter-writing campaigns to help
communities prevent environmental destruction.  Global Response involves
young people as well as adults in these campaigns, to develop in them the
skills for global citizen cooperation and earth stewardship.
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