Protesters ask court to stop Cajas mining permanently
Hundreds of anti-mining protesters filled the streets around Parque Calderón Monday as Cuenca’s Provincial Court of Justice heard arguments that could determine the fate the Río Blanco gold and silver mine in the Cajas Mountains. Operations at the mine, located 20 miles west of Cuenca in Molleturo and Chaucha, were suspended June 1 by a commercial court judge’s order.
Representatives of the protesters are asking that the suspension be made permanent while owners of Lunding Gold, a Chinese-owned company, and the government want operations resumed. Police say that Monday’s protest turned rowdy at one point with participants throwing objects and attempting to remove police barricades.
The protest ended when leader Yaku Pérez Guartambel told the crowd that the court had announced it would make a decision within eight days. The city of Cuenca also attended Monday’s court hearing, supporting permanent suspension of Río Blanco operations.
Despite denials, Assange hand-over reports swirl
Despite an official denial from the Ecuadorian government, reports continue to surface that Julian Assange will soon be turned over to the British government. On Monday, the Times of London reported that it had identified “at least a half dozen credible sources” reporting that a plan to end Assange’s residence in Ecuador’s London embassy is in the works. Several sources say that President Lenin Moreno’s visit to London is a “cover” for meetings to work out the details of Assange’s fate. Officially, Moreno is in London to attend a conference on the rights of the disabled, at which he delivered the keynote address Tuesday morning.
Correa’s arrest warrant appeal is rejected
An appeal by attorneys for former president Rafael Correa to rescind an arrest warrant was rejected Monday by Ecuador’s National Court of Justice. The warrant, issued in June by a criminal court judge, was based on Correa’s failure to appear in court to testify about his involvement in a 2012 kidnapping of a political rival. Ecuador Attorney General Paúl Pérez argued that there is sufficient evidence to include Correa in the crime investigation. Correa’s attorneys argued that the warrant should be revoked because the alleged kidnapping occurred in Colombia and should be tried in a Colombian court and because Correa now lives in Belgium.