UPDATE: Blue Planet Project signs amicus letter on the Mirador open-pit mine

An amicus letter expressing concern about the Mirador open-pit mine has been filed in a court in Ecuador. The letter was signed by the Earth Law Center, the Council of Canadians/ Blue Planet Project, Food & Water Watch, and the Polis Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria. The organizations submitted the letter to the Honorable Justices of the Corte Provincial de Justicia de Pichincha, Juzgado Vigésimo Quinto de lo Civil as they consider Acción de Protección contra el Proyecto Minero Mirador.

The letter states, "The UN has specifically recognized the human right to water as 'a pre-requisite to the realization of all other human rights', and has formally acknowledged in Resolution the 'right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights'. Ecuador voted in support of the UN Resolution articulating this critical human right. ...The Mining Project Mirador proposal would impact the Tundayme and Wawayme river basins through acid mine drainage and highly toxic persistent contaminants, including heavy metals, that affect the quality of water. This pollution that can persist over centuries. ...The proposed project risks similarly contaminating important water sources for decades to centuries, affecting the fundamental element of life for both environment and people."

And it notes, "The Mining Project Mirador proposal also has the potential to significantly slow the rights of nature movement worldwide, a movement born in Ecuador and growing most rapidly in Latin America. Ecuador initiated this movement in 2008, when it became the first nation in the world to adopt a constitutional provision endowing nature with inalienable, enforceable rights. ...Civil society worldwide also has begun to embrace the importance of rights of nature, particularly as important to advancing other human rights, including the human right to water recognized by Ecuador and many others."

It concludes, "A project that results in the extinction of entire species directly violates the Constitution’s recognition of nature’s right to exist, persist, and maintain itself. The project’s other environmental impacts, including the likelihood of long-term water pollution, may also violate the provisions of Ecuador’s constitution on the rights of nature, as well as implicate the human right to water for affected communities. Given Ecuador’s leadership role to date in serving as model for other rights of nature laws, a decision that moves Ecuador backwards on rights of nature will also move the world backwards. We respectfully request that the court take into account the information and inputs presented herein in its consideration of the Acción de Protección contra el Proyecto Minero Mirador."

For more, please see:
UPDATE: The Mirador open-pit mine in Ecuador
UPDATE: Correa criticizes anti-mining activists in Ecuador
NEWS: Indigenous peoples march against proposed Mirador copper mine in Ecuador