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4 July 2011 | | |

This Land is Mine

Yovanny Guzmán (Ecuador): mining or migrating

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“All the steps we have taken have had the support of the communities” says Yovanny Guzman, before talking about the long-standing struggle for water of the women of Cuenca, in Ecuador.

He began her day before the break of dawn: he walks around the parishes and houses collecting milk, a product for which there is strong demand, being one of the main items produced in the region.

Even though he is pressed for time, he makes a stop to talk about the struggle against the mining concession in Kimsacocha.

He is concerned about how the mass media in Ecuador has concealed the problem they suffer, particularly in the provinces with greatest mining potential, in the south of the country. An example of this are the infrastructure works like highways, railroads.

“This should be made public to the whole country” he said. “Nobody is talking about this in Quito. We have struggled for something that belongs to all Ecuadorians”.

Yovanny, as many others in Ecuador, knows the meaning of economic migration. Therefore, he knows that the big cities in rich countries cherish water. That is why he cannot understand that anyone would want to jeopardize this natural richness in his region for the mining concessions, which, on top of everything, will leave little royalties to the state.

“This area produces 250,000 liters of milk a day. Thousands of people live on milk production and commercialization. It is outrageous that they would want to install a mine here. All we have left to do is make our suitcase and leave. I don’t ever want to come back: I know very well what pollution is in other cities, in other countries”, says Yovanny.

Photo: FIAN Ecuador

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