UN rapporteur alerts in Ecuador to the risks of extractivism

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

The UN Special Rapporteur on toxic substances and human rights, Marcos Orellana, who is currently visiting Ecuador, warned about the risks of extractive and industrial activities about people’s lives.

The expert, who arrived on May 14 and will be in this South American nation until Saturday 18, participates in university forums and meetings with representatives of social organizations, as well as with territorial leaders, on an academic tour.

Is the State legitimate only as it organizes its public power for the promotion and defence of human rights. Where is the legitimacy of the State when there are judicial sentences that are not complied with? International standards are being contradicted, Orellana said the day before in a meeting with Amazonian communities.

There he heard leaders of those populations who told him how they coexist with the contamination of oil spills and agro-industry.

This Thursday, the specialist was in the Andean city of Latacunga, where he learned about the impact of mining on the territories of the indigenous peoples and nationalities of the Ecuadorian mountains.

Precisely for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the rapporteur’s visit is an opportunity to learn about the environmental and social consequences of oil exploitation, mining, agro-industry and extractive policies linked to these activities.

This week a United Nations expert group recommended that the Ecuadorian authorities ensure environmental consultations on mining projects, in compliance with human rights standards.

In a statement, they demanded the inclusion of all communities that could be affected by extractive activities, in particular the projects La Plata S.A. or Curipampa-El Domo, linked to Canadian capital companies.

This article has been translated after first appearing in El Pais