Court ruling said that indigenous people in Ecuador have the right to say no to mining projects, which then must be stopped.
Members of the A’i Cofan indigenous tribe managed to block the Amazon mining. The guards patrol the banks of the Aguarico River and confiscate equipment if they find miners.
According to Reuters, they have the support of the Constitutional Court. Earlier this year, the court ruled that indigenous communities have to give their consent to all major extractive projects happening in their territories.
The court also reversed previous projects, such as ordering gold concessions on Cofan territory, because the indigenous community wasn’t consulted.
However, there’s disagreement as to which projects the ruling applies to. The mining industry and authorities claim it only applies to future projects, while the indigenous people say it applies to all.
The Ecuador government aimed a doubling in mining exports to reach $4 billion in the next three years, and they haven’t given up on their decision.
While the court’s decision has been a step in the right direction, the struggle is just beginning.
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