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EITI Ecuador and the challenge of making mining and oil transparent
Redacción Plan V

Large mining projects such as Cascabel coexist in the country with small artisanal mineral exploitations.  Photo: Courtesy

 

Cuenca: the popular vote that puts large-scale mining at risk

Cajas, from one of its highest points, Tres Cruces, at 4,150 meters above sea level. This is an ancient lake and moorland system where two of the four rivers that cross the city of Cuenca originate. It is a protected area and any type of mining is prohibited. Photos: Luis Argüello / PlanV

 

The struggle to defend water in Cuenca has been going on for decades. At the beginning it was only a matter of peasant and indigenous communities, but then the towns and cities joined in. Especially the young people. Now, it is a cultural and political issue that, after the anti-mining referendum, has generated an environmentalist shake-up, whose consequences are yet to be seen.
Terror in the illegal mines of Buenos Aires comes to light

Illegal mining left a bare, pitted and contaminated mountain. The State -through its ministries of Energy and Environment- has not taken care of the environmental liabilities. Photos: Luis Argüello / PlanV

 

Recent sentences describe the violence and executions that took place between armed groups for the control of illegal mines in the parish of La Merced de Buenos Aires. PlanV reconstructed these crimes with court documents and confidential sources. We went up to the Mina Vieja to collect shocking images with a drone.
Nearly 2,000 unaccompanied Ecuadorian minors reached the U.S. border in the last eight months
Susana Morán

Border patrol agents search unaccompanied minors in the city of La Joya, Texas, neighboring Ciudad Juarez, through which most Ecuadorians seeking to reach the U.S. transit. Photo: Hector Guerrero

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In 2020 there were more than 200,000 alerts on child sexual exploitation from Ecuador
Redacción Plan V

Panoramic view of the entrance to the parish of La Merced in Buenos Aires. Photos: Luis Argüello / PlanV

 

Buenos Aires has not yet closed the mining wounds
Redacción Plan V

Josefina Tunki, 59, lives and commutes in the heart of the Cordillera del Cóndor, where thousands of tons of gold and copper are extracted. She is the first president of the Shuar Arutam people. Photos: Luis Argüello / Plan V

 

Josefina Tunki and women human rights defenders attacked by mining companies and the Ecuadorian State
Susana Morán

Activists such as Danilo Manzano of the organization Diálogo Diverso, argue that there should be more favorable conditions for the participation of the LGBTI community. Photos: Luis Argüello / Plan V

 

LGBTI: No diversity, no democracy
Three LGBTI rights activists highlight the movement's achievements, from the decriminalization of homosexuality to equal marriage. But discrimination, in every sense, remains systematic and structural. Efrain Soria, Mateo Ruales and Danilo Manzano speak from their experience, about their struggle and the future.

EFRAÍN SORIA:

"We can now get married, but there is still violence, mistreatment and even murder."

The "technical" smuggling is the one that takes place through sea and airports. This crime involves organized gangs that seek to establish a criminal legality in the process of importing and exporting goods. Photo: El Universo

 

Smuggling is part of the organized crime network
The smuggling of goods is nothing more than an expression of how criminal organizations evade the law and formality to make huge profits. Smugglers, drug traffickers, human traffickers, women traffickers, and criminal groups cohabit along this path. The problem is that the country has normalized illegality and informality.

On both the southern and northern borders of Ecuador, smuggling of goods coexists with other crimes associated with transnational crime: human trafficking, illegal mining and gold trafficking, fuel trafficking, trafficking of arms, ammunition and explosives, trafficking of drugs, chemical precursors and other controlled substances, trafficking of migrants, trafficking of timber and wildlife species, hired assassination...

This is one of the last photographs of the group of Ecuadorians who disappeared after arriving in the Bahamas. Photo: Courtesy of 1800 Migrante

 

Bahamas: a more costly route for Ecuadorian migrant smuggling, but just as unsafe.
The recent disappearance of five Ecuadorians on their way to the United States showed that the Bahamas route has regained strength. Coyote smugglers promise greater security in exchange for thousands of dollars, but it is just as risky as the route through Mexico. The Foreign Ministry acknowledged that there is a new wave of risky and irregular migration to the United States. Every year, there are more than 100 complaints of migrant smuggling in Ecuador. But only half of them are settled in court.

A photograph was the link between Jime B.M. and five missing Ecuadorian migrants. Jime B.M. was arrested on May 27 at his home in Durán, after the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Police raided his home as part of an investigation into an alleged group dedicated to migrant smuggling.
The prosecutor of the Organized Crime Unit, Jhon Camposano, explained that this investigation arose from a complaint on social networks. The police located the relatives of the missing migrants on their way to the United States through the Bahamas.

Credit: Svetlana Tiourina

 

Albanian Drug Suspect’s Banana Bonanza
An Albanian businessman wanted for smuggling drugs in a banana consignment from Ecuador was allowed to make over 100 additional shipments on exactly the same route, before a routine scan led to Albania’s biggest-ever cocaine bust.

Albania’s top police officer took to the stage in February 2018 to announce a milestone in his force’s fight against drugs: the seizure of 613 kilograms of cocaine hidden among bananas arriving from Latin America.
It was the country’s biggest-ever drug haul and a welcome public relations coup for Tirana, which has been fighting accusations of becoming a narco-state.

Photo: Luis Argüello / PlanV

In the Eugenio Espejo hospital, some people have been injured during the protests. One of the most serious is Juan Olovacha who was operated to remove the pellets.

 

‘My uncle got seven metal pellets out of his head’
This is one of the first cases that cast doubt on the official version that the police and the military did not use lethal weapons during the October demonstrations in Ecuador.

Juan Olovacha, 30, a native of Quisapincha, Ambato, was part of a group of 40 people who came from that community to protest against the Government of Ecuador on October 7. But a day later, in the middle of the demonstrations, the young university student was hit by a projectile in his head that left him seven embedded pellets. He is still hospitalized and is in an almost vegetable state. The seconds after the shot were recorded by amateur videos.

Photo: Willy David Maigua

 

Ecuador: following the trail of those killed in the protests
Eight people died in social unrest caused by rising fuel prices.The circumstances of the deaths are not clear.

Until October 14, the Ombudsman's Office recorded eight deaths in the protests that lasted 11 days. But information about the circumstances of their deaths comes to mind drops. For Minister María Paula Romo, the Police are not responsible for those deaths. Among the dead are two indigenous leaders of Cotopaxi, but one has not yet been located. The other is Inocencio Tucumbi, who was fired by thousands of Pujilenses last Saturday. This article was written thanks to the contributions of the communicator Willy David Maigua, who lives in Pujilí.

The worst data leak in the history of Ecuador discovered
A security firm and a technology portal investigated the security flaws of a server located in Miami, whose owner would be an Ecuadorian company. This is Novaestrat created in 2017 by two former officials who worked at the Senplades, Secom and the National Development Bank. They had a database of 20.8 million Ecuadorians. The government said the data is protected. But international research alerts serious risks. The businessmen did not respond to calls or mails from Plan V.

 

The singer's band was arrested in October 2018 with 741 kilos of drugs.

Drug trafficking: justice is shipwrecked in the "reasonable doubt"
A singer from Guayaquil related to drug trafficking cases that was released a few weeks ago. The same happened with three men who were found with 1 million dollars in the main terminal of the Main Port. The judges make use of the "reasonable doubt" to release them.

How do you avoid justice in drug trafficking cases? The anti-narcotic agents have it very clear. There are several levels and several figures that allow to favor the defendants, despite the evidence. For example, there is a first level where prosecutors are, who can refrain from accusing, reformulating charges, accessing effective cooperation or abbreviated procedures that benefit detainees in penalties.

Ecuador´s Prosecutor points against Ola Bini with the thesis of the "screenshot"
According to the document, "Ola Bini has thousands of devices controlled by Ecuadorian citizens, around 1400, between phones and computers." The police report warns that, allegedly, "Ecuador is targeted by computer attacks that may have to do with the group that works with Ola Bini."

The Prosecutor's Office of Ecuador continues to gather the evidence that it must present to accuse Ola Bini of a possible computer crime, and some of them have already been published. On the eve of the deadline for the investigation, on August 29, prosecutor Fabián Chávez reformulated the charges against the Swede. Now he accuses him of violating article 234 of the Criminal Code, which is included in the "crimes against good living" section and which consists of "non-consensual access" to a computer system. The prosecutor wields the "screenshot" theory.

Free Assange?
We have forgotten that the Correa’s government needed to make up its liberties in the face of an international context that looked badly at the Ecuadorian regime and that was pushed to welcome Assange in 2012.

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