Carlos Zorrilla

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The two frogs that stand in the way of Codelco’s mining project in Ecuador

About four years ago I wrote the first of what would eventually be three versions of the 21 Reasons why Codelco Should Stay Away From Intag.” Not too long afterwards, it became Twenty-two when a new species of frog which thought extinct was discovered in the Llurimagua mining area that Chile’s Codelco was exploring for copper. Three years later it was Twenty-three reasons when an even more unique species of frog, likewise thought extinct, was discovered in the same mining concession.

In all the versions, I pointed out the main reasons why I thought it was a terrible…


Rebekah Hayden|25 Septiempre 2020

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La Rana Arlequín hocicudo (Atelopus longirostris). Foto: Carlos Zorrilla

Una Acción Constitucional podría proteger los Derechos de la Naturaleza frente a los derechos económicos de las empresas transnacionales en el Valle de Intag en Ecuador.

El valle de Intag, en la provincia de Imbabura, al noroeste de Ecuador, debería ser un lugar tranquilo. Las montañas boscosas están cubiertas de una niebla tan espesa que los bosques subtropicales se conocen como bosques nublados.

Estos bosques albergan un tesoro de biodiversidad de las plantas y animales que se encuentran aquí, muchos de los cuales están en peligro crítico o en riesgo de extinción. Algunos no se encuentran…


Rebekah Hayden September 25 2020

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The Harlequin Frog (Atelopus longirostris). Photo: Carlos Zorilla

A Constitutional Protection Action could protect the Rights of Nature over the economic rights of transnational companies in Ecuador’s Intag Valley.

The Intag valley in the Imbabura province, high up in north-west of Ecuador, should be a peaceful place. Forested mountains are blanketed so thickly in fog that the sub-tropical rainforests are known as cloud forests.

These forests shelter a biodiverse treasure in the plants and animals found here — many of which are critically endangered or at risk of extinction. Some are found nowhere else on earth. A study in 2018 found 287 endangered…


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Casi todos de los candidatos que buscan ser elegidos a escaños poder e influencia en las próximas elecciones hablan de la minería cómo fuente de salvación nacional. Son muy pocos los que tienen la más remota idea de lo impactante que es para las comunidades, derechos humanos, y más que todo, para los recursos naturales. Y aún más específicamente para los recursos hídricos. No hay la más mínima evidencia que conozcan de los bochornosos incentivos económicos creados por el régimen correísta para atraer la inversión minera al país. Dichos incentivos le dejarán al país con migajas económicas, pero sí con…


Carlos Zorrilla

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El destino de algunos de los últimos bosques nubosos que quedan en Ecuador y de cientos de medios de vida depende del resultado de un caso pionero de los Derechos de la Naturaleza relacionado a dos pequeños anfibios.

Dos ranas de no más de cuatro centímetros de largo: parecen tan insignificantes. Pero mucho depende de ellas, a saber, un caso en la corte constitucional que podría detener el desarrollo minero en la mayor parte de Ecuador.

La rana arlequín hocicuda, vista por última vez en 1989, se creía extinta hasta que fue redescubierta en la concesión minera de…


A Massive Copper Deposit, a Rights-of Nature Case, and the Destiny of Hundreds of Species of Plants and Animals

Carlos Zorrilla*

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They seem so insignificant, two frogs no more than 4 centimeters in length. But much is riding on them: not least of which is a constitutional court case that could stop mining development in most of Ecuador.

The Long nose Harlequin Frog, on the left, last seen in 1989, was thought extinct until it was rediscovered in the LLurimagua mining concession in 2016. The much rarer Confusing Rocket Frog, last spotted in 1985, was also written off until its…


A Massive Copper Deposit, a Rights-of Nature Case, and the Destiny of Two Species of Frog

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Carlos Zorrilla*

They seem so insignificant, two frogs no more than 4 centimeters in length. But much is riding on them: not least of which is a constitutional court case that could stop mining development in most of Ecuador.

The Long nose Harlequin Frog, on the left, last seen in 1989, was thought extinct until it was rediscovered in the LLurimagua mining concession in 2016. The much rarer Confusing Rocket Frog, last spotted in 1985, was also written off until its rediscovery in 2019…


Mongabay Latam

Frogs win court battle against mining in Ecuador

Doménica Montaño October 13, 2020

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The valley of Intag, one of the most biodiverse places in the country, has been threatened for more than two decades by the mining industry.

On September 24, 2020, a judge accepted an action to protect the valley and its biodiversity. The decision could save dozens of endangered species.

*This report is a journalistic alliance between Mongabay Latam and GK of Ecuador.

In the valley of Intag, two ecosystems come together: a part of the Ecuadorian Chocó -a priority area for world conservation- and the Tropical Andes -the hotspot with the greatest biological…


Carlos Zorrilla

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Intag’s forests are among the most biodiverse and threatened in the world. Photo credit: Carlos Zorrilla

The government of Ecuador has been busy trying sell its share of the troubled Llurimagua copper project to a third party of late. Right now it is owned by two state-owned mining companies, Ecuador’s ENAMI and the Chilean giant, CODELCO, the world’s largest copper producer. Big names like BHP have been mentioned, as well as lesser players, like Hanrine (subsidiary of Australian Hancock). There is even evidence than a Chinese firm is interested. The government’s main selling point is that the concession could hold one of the richest copper deposits in the Andes”.


When I Think of the Copper Laying Under Intag’s Cloud Forests.

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When I think of the copper laying beneath Intag’s cloud forests the last thing I think about is clean energy for the poor of our planet. I know better. Rather, I think of death. I think of contamination of pristine rivers and streams with arsenic and lead that will last a thousand years. Of acid waters that scar the landscape and kill all aquatic life. I think of the utter and complete devastation of the homes of hundreds of animals and plants species in danger of extinction. I think of the many species of frogs that live here and nowhere…

Carlos Zorrilla

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