Ecuadorians learning Chinese have growing clout with mining project

Posted on May 16, 2014 • Filed under: China, Ecuador, Enviromental Issues, Latin America Mining

Chinese banks ignore pleas of Ecuador mining campaigners – David Hill writes the failure to respond to an NGO letter challenging investment in the Mirador mining project has played to Ecuadorian fears about China’s growing clout. The Mirador copper mining project in Ecuador’s richly biodiverse Cordillera del Condor is under the control of Chinese state-owned companies. Pleas by civil society organisations and indigenous leaders in Ecuador to meet with six Chinese banks following the Chinese takeover of a controversial copper mining project in the Amazon have met with silence. The Mirador project is one of the first Chinese ventures into large-scale mining in Ecuador. It lies in the Cordillera del Condor, a richly biodiverse area and the territory of indigenous Shuar and Awajún people, which extends across the border into Peru……


Growing unease over Chinese investment

The decision by so many Ecuadorian organisations to lobby the six Chinese banks illustrates growing concern over the power China wields in the country – and a lack of confidence that Chinese civil society can hold its government and banks to account.

A flurry of recent reports – by AE and CDES as well as US-based NGO Amazon Watch – has brought home the extent to which these fears have taken hold among Ecuadorian social and environmental groups.

AE points out that Ecuador, following a series of high interest loans, now owes more money to China than it has ever owed to one country before. “The debt is spiralling,” states its report, Chinese mining companies in Ecuador: a new dependency. “In just three years, between 2008 and the end of 2011, Ecuador’s debt to China went above US$8 billion.” Read Article

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