In front of Ecuadorian Embassy to support Quito Sin Minería campaign

We, the undersigned organisations, express our support and solidarity for the ongoing “Quito Sin Minería” campaign to hold a Consultar Popular (a popular referendum) on all forms of metallic mining in the Metropolitan District of Quito (MDQ) and the Chocó Andino region.

The Quito Sin Minería campaign was launched in March 2022 by a group of organisations, collectives and individuals from Quito who want to defend the Metropolitan District of Quito (MDQ)¹ and the Chocó Andino region from mining. The campaign aimed to collect around 400,000 signatures before today (double the 10% of the MDQ’s electoral roll officially required – which is around 200,000) in order to trigger the inclusion of the Consulta Popular on all forms of metallic mining in the February 2023 elections.

We are vigilantly watching the signature collection process. We have already received reports of municipality officials preventing the collection of signatures – either not allowing the Quito Sin Minería campaign to set up collection points or evicting them entirely from public spaces.

It is critical that the inhabitants of Quito are able to decide for themselves whether or not they support metallic mining projects in their territory. The right of the people of the region, included in the Ecuadorian Constitution (article 104), to participate in matters of public interest and to be consulted, must be respected and recognised. Tomorrow, the campaign enters the critical validation phase at the National Electoral Council (CNE). The CNE must respect and validate the democratic process, triggering the inclusion of the Consulta Popular in the upcoming February 2023 elections.

Signed by:

¹The MDQ is home to Ecuador’s Chocó Andino UNESCO Biosphere reserve, home of the endangered Spectacled Andean bear, one of the last remaining forests in Quito. With an area of 286,805 hectares, the Chocó Andino represents 83% of the Metropolitan District of Quito and constitutes the lungs of the Ecuadorian capital. The region also has significant cultural heritage, especially of the indigenous Yumbo, KituKara and Inca peoples.

Despite its vital importance, the region is under imminent threat by metallic mining concessions. Currently, 12 metallic mining concessions have been granted, occupying 17.863 hectares and another 6 concessions are in process, occupying 9.899 hectares within the Chocó Andino Biosphere Reserve. Developing mining activities in such sensitive areas as the Chocó Andino can have very serious environmental and social impacts that could permanently affect biodiversity and the territory.

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