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Ecuador: Dangerous tailings ponds surrounding the country's largest mine have no controls
Investigación y textos: Manuel Novik. Fotos y video: Luis Argüello. Infografías: Jazmina Ojeda / PlanV

The Quimi tailings dam was built on the edge of the river. The dump has a height of 30 meters approximately. Photos: Luis Argüello

Saving one of Charles Darwin's finches in Galapagos

The mangrove finch is critically endangered; it is estimated that only 100 specimens remain alive. It is one of the 17 finches discovered by Charles Darwin in Galapagos in the 19th century. Photo: © Juan Manuel García / CDF

One of the 17 finches discovered by Charles Darwin in Galapagos in the 19th century is critically endangered. It is estimated that there are about 100 specimens left alive. A fly is threatening the hatchlings and mechanisms are being sought to control it.
In the CPCCS, the appointment of the new president of the Judiciary is stalled; these are the candidates and their agendas

Image: PlanV


One month after the presentation of the shortlist for the appointment of the new head of the Judiciary Council (CJ), the process is not moving forward. The Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control did not attend the interview on this issue. Meanwhile, the three jurists -candidates for the National Court of Justice- expose their ideas in case of becoming President of the CJ. These are their profiles in depth.
The three new constitutional judges: who is who?
Fermín Vaca Santacruz

Photo: Asamblea Nacional




About the 79 dead people that no one cries for
María Amelia Espinosa Cordero

The national police cordoned off the headquarters of the Citizen Participation Council, in Quito, to allow the entry of four majority councilors, who met at the headquarters and removed the president of the Council from office. Photo: Expreso.

In the battle for control institutions, the CPCCS hits rock bottom
Redacción Plan V
The ups and downs of the renewal of the Constitutional Court
Fermín Vaca Santacruz

Referential image: PlanV

The uncomfortable former client of a Constitutional Court candidate
Jorge Sosa Meza denies having been part of alias Gerald's legal team and says he was only consulted on the extradition process of one of the country's biggest drug traffickers. Sosa is now one of the candidates for the Constitutional Court. He was nominated by the Transparency and Social Control Function.

"When, in the life of international law, can an embassy request an arrest warrant?" asked lawyer Jorge Sosa Meza during an interview about the extradition of Washington Prado Álava, alias Gerald or better known as the Ecuadorian Pablo Escobar. In January 2018, Sosa spoke to the news media Telenorte 24 about the US Embassy's request for Gerald to be arrested and extradited to that country.

Councilors Javier Dávalos (r), Sofía Almeida (c), David Rosero and Ibeth Estupiñán formed the majority for the approval of resolutions. Now Councilor Estupiñán is no longer in the majority. Photo: El Universo 

The Participation Council can' t get out of its tangle
In the midst of a new political and credibility crisis, the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control, CPCCS, is advancing in the competitions to appoint five authorities of various entities. The most complex and conflictive process is the appointment of the Comptroller General of the State, a fundamental figure in the institutional machinery of the Ecuadorian State.

In the midst of a crisis of confidence, the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control is in charge of five public competitions to elect the first authorities of agencies such as the Public Defender's Office, the Comptroller General of the State, the National Electoral Council, the Ombudsman's Office; and the partial renewal of the Contentious Electoral Tribunal. The first three competitions are underway and the last two will be called in the coming months.

Referential image. Plan V

Who is who among Ecuador´s nine Constitutional Court finalists
Five candidates have been qualified and are in the race to occupy three chairs in the plenary of the Constitutional Court, three of whose magistrates must be selected in early 2022. An important group of candidates belong to the circles of the Minister of Government, Alexandra Vela and the Legal Secretary of the Palace, Fabián Pozo.

In theory, any of the nine members of the Constitutional Court could leave office at the beginning of next year, since a selection is scheduled for a partial renewal. The drawing of lots will be the old-fashioned way: with slips of paper to be drawn from an amphora, but it will be attended by all the constitutional judges and the members of the Qualifying Commission, which is conducting a competition to fill the three vacancies that will occur. The three new judges are expected to take office in February 2022.

Nema Grefa (left) and Andrés Ruíz (right), president and vice president of the Sapara Nation of Ecuador. Press conference on Tuesday May 25 outside the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Ecuador. They denounced the handover of his ancestral territory to an organization that they consider "illegitimate", associated with Andes Petroleum. Photos: Ramiro Aguilar, Andrés Yépez, Josué Araujo. Photo: Ramiro Aguilar Villamarín @miro.a.villamarin (Ig)


After making green pledges, Ecuador plans to expand oil on indigenous lands
Can a local or foreign oil company carry out extractive activity with social responsibility in indigenous territories? Three cases in Ecuador show that oil is exchanged for trinkets.

In Ecuador, the government of Guillermo Lasso appeared to show an attitude change towards the environment. After decades of extractive projects in the Amazon rainforest, the government created the Secretariat of Peoples and Nationality of Ecuador. On World Environment Day, it announced that Ecuador will be the first country in Latin America to make a national policy on the ecological transition.

Between January and July 2021 alone, more than 62,000 Ecuadorians were detained for irregular entry into the United States. Photo: EFE

2021, the year with the most deaths of Ecuadorians on the U.S.-Mexico border
Ecuador closes a tragic year in relation to migration. In the last three years, 62 Ecuadorians have lost their lives on their way to the United States, most of them in 2021. They were mainly from the provinces of Azuay and Chimborazo. What are the most used and dangerous crossing points for Ecuadorians?

Ecuadorian migration to the United States has left a tragic toll. In 2021, 28 Ecuadorians have lost their lives at the U.S.-Mexico border, the highest number since 2019. That is almost double the number recorded in 2020 (16 deaths). This is confirmed by recent figures from the Foreign Ministry to which PlanV had access.

This AP image shows a dead prisoner on the roof of the Penitenciaría del Litoral. Photo: AP

Police entered the Penitentiary 7 hours after the violence began; massacres have left more than 300 people dead
This is the fourth massacre so far in 2021. Guillermo Lasso has called on the Church and activist Nelsa Curbelo to open a dialogue inside the prisons. A desperate inmate narrated this hell and was the only source of information until the morning after the authorities reacted.This is the fourth massacre so far in 2021. Guillermo Lasso has called on the Church and activist Nelsa Curbelo to open a dialogue inside the prisons. A desperate inmate narrated this hell and was the only source of information until the morning after the authorities reacted.

Please, gentlemen, I beg you, let the military come in. That was the plea of an inmate of the Litoral Penitentiary while he was transmitting from his cell phone the confrontations that took place last night and early this morning. He was asking for help amidst the sounds of bullets, bombs and screams of other inmates who accompanied him.

Thousands of Ecuadorians arrived by plane to Mexico before the imposition of the visa and then had to cross by land to the United States. Photos: Courtesy Pamela Cevallos / Ministry of Foreign Affairs

New wave of migration to the U.S. leaves thousands of Ecuadorians deported
Almost 100 thousand Ecuadorians were detained, expelled or deported from the United States this year according to data from migrant organizations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a mission to the border area between Mexico and the United States to learn about the migration problem, which held meetings with U.S. authorities and received testimonies.

Before reaching the border areas between Mexico and the United States, Ecuadorian migrants, who are in search of the American dream, must arrive by different routes to the crossing points. Near the border, migrants are held in safe houses while coyoteros find the time to cross. In this scenario, there are often kidnappings and extortions where they are asked for new sums of money to take the next step.

A Mexican army soldier attempts to detain a group of irregular migrants at a point on the border with the United States. Photo: AFP

Human trafficking mafias have "generated" billions in 2021
Some 110 Ecuadorians have died on their irregular journey to the United States between 2019 and September of this year. Another 33 remain missing in the same period. The risks faced by migrants, especially women, on this journey are not commensurate with the huge profits of human traffickers. A criminal business that in 2021 alone "generated" about one billion dollars for the mafias.

In 2019 and 2020, 67 Ecuadorians died on the border between Mexico and the United States and so far in 2021 there are 34 (5 on the Mexican side and 29 in the United States). There are also missing persons. So far this year, 29 disappearances have been reported, of which the authorities solved 12 cases, but there are 17 pending cases.

This is part of the largest shark fin smuggling seized in Hong Kong in May 2020 and was shipped from Guayaquil, Ecuador. There were 26 tons, 30,500 sharks killed for their fins and the fine imposed Photo: taken from the South China Morning Post, photo by Nora Tam.

Meet the Assemblymen who oppose the protection of sharks and exotic animals
In the plenary of the National Assembly, on Thursday, September 2 at 11:30 am, reforms to the Organic Environmental Code will be discussed. This project includes the prohibition of importing exotic animals such as the giraffes that were killed in Loja, the hippopotamuses that two zoos want to bring and the moratorium on the commercialization of sharks captured "incidentally".

In this session of the Commission, the final voting text for the second debate of the project to reform the Organic Environmental Code had to be approved. It seemed a simple task: this project has been two years in the making; it has received contributions and attacks from every imaginable sector: animal protectionists, industrial fishermen, defenders and some authorities.

The increase of Ecuadorian migrants traveling with children has caught the attention of authorities and tour operators in Mexico. Photo: EFE

7 out of 10 Ecuadorians who have passed through Mexico have been detained
More than 62,000 Ecuadorians have been detained by the US Border Patrol in 2021. This represents an increase in migrant smuggling, whose networks include tourism agencies in Ecuador and Mexico and migration agents, according to a Mexican source. In Ecuador, experts believe that the visa to Mexico will not stop migration as long as economic and social conditions do not improve in the country.