FRIENDS OF MININGWATCH
10 June 2022, 2.22pm EDT
Source: Consejo del Gobierno del Pueblo Shuar Arutam
Every year at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Mining Convention in Canada, the usurpers of our territory speak about the “Warintza model” — bringing their paid Shuar personnel to speak wonders of a project that our people and our legitimate community leaders reject. Before these events take place on June 13 in Toronto, Canada, we declare to the authorities of Ecuador and Canada, to the shareholders and investors of the transnational mining companies that are gathering there, and to company officials and employees of all nationalities that:
- This is our territory and our existence here spans thousands of years. We will not allow your 200-year-old governments and decades-old companies to destroy our sacred world, which is the source of life for us and the planet.
- We denounce that Solaris Resources is causing death in our territory. [They are responsible for] a plane crash, the recent death of a young worker, and multiple deaths associated with the pandemic following the return of the 7 Shuar that the mining company irresponsibly took to Canada for its PDAC 2020 convention at the very beginning of the pandemic.
- We condemn the company’s ongoing strategy to manipulate our people, led by Federico Velasquez, who has even threatened to kill PSHA president Josefina Tunki and those who support her. For this reason we denounce Federico Velasquez’s presence at PDAC, as well as in our territory.
- We condemn the manipulation of individual members of our people who are receiving money from the mining company to come to its defense in different instances, as evidenced by this conference. This is what the company lifts up as the “Warintza Model”: successfully dividing our people, so that a single community opposes the collective decisions of the 47 communities that make up the Shuar Arutam People Government Council.
- Our territory is a Territory of Life/Territory and Area Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Communities (TICCA). It is also a designated “Protected Area” registered with the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC in Spanish), a bi-national territory that protects the Cordillera del Condor. We share this land with our Wampis brothers and sisters, who would also be affected by the destruction of nature caused by mining. We are hundreds of communities that depend on the river, the forest, and the spiritual beings that live there.
- We reject the use and abuse of the participation of a Shuar woman at PDAC. We consider it a desperate strategy that the company is using, in contrast to the leadership of our President who has maintained a firm anti-mining position, as stated in the PSHA Plan for Life. With this event, the company is trying to demonstrate that Shuar women are in agreement with mining and so we therefore underscore once more that the women of the Shuar Arutam People defend our territory and have said a resounding NO to mining. NO to the extractivism that pollutes our waters, that destroys our forest, our land, our lives.
- We report that these individual employees do not represent or govern us. Our highest authority is the PSHA Assembly, made up of our 47 communities. Throughout the life of our organization, the Assembly has opposed the invasion of our territories and has rejected the extractivism that foreign companies such as Solaris Resources/Lowell Mining, Aurania Resources (Ecuasolidus), Ecuacorrientes and others, want to impose.
- We condemn the fact that the Canadian Embassy, which had avoided meeting with us for over two years, summoned us to a meeting in Quito, suspiciously on the same day that a high-level delegation from the government and the mining company entered our territory. In this way, they ensured that our leaders were not present to turn away this unwanted delegation, which was neither authorised by nor coordinated with our true leaders.
Finally, we declare that you can put on any kind of show you want during your conference. But in our territories, we rule.
June 10, 2022