Illegal mining generates hundreds of millions in profits, ‘Sacred India’ at Pumapungo, Guayasamín bicentennial exhibit in Azogues

Feb 3, 2020 | 8 comments

Lunes, 3/2/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Exposición – The exhibit, “India Sagrada” (Sacred India) will be at the museo Pumapungo until 2/3. Hours are martes a viernes, 8-17:00 and los fines de semana (weekends – your word for the day) <Remember when you waited all week for the fin de semana? Now if you’re retired, it’s just like any other day except a lot of stores are closed.> from 9-17:00. The exhibit has bronze and wood sculptures, musical instruments, books, weavings, and installations.

Short films – The Cine Club Catarsis is arranging a showing of short films by students in the Film Department at the U. de las Artes mañana in the sala Alfonso Carrasco of the CCE a las 19:00. Cost: $1.00.

Del cuerpo del periodico –

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An illegal gold mine southwest of Cuenca.

Carnaval en El Valle – El Valle will celebrate Carnaval with the Maluay cultural festival on 9/2, the 13th Festival de Carnavales El Valle on 16/2, and a cultural festival in the Izhca Yaki tourist center on 23/2.

Guayasamín – Bicentennial events in Azogues will kick off with “Los 100 años de Guayasamín,” an exhibit of 30 lienzografías (canvases?) by Oswaldo Guaysamín in the Casa de la Cultura Núcleo del Cañar. The opening of the exhibit will be el jueves a las 17:00 in the “Daniel Mogrovejo Narváez” gallery and will run to 28/2.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Al irse, párroco pide que siga la defensa del agua (When leaving, pastor asks to continue the defense of water) – Pastor Salvador Rodríguez is saying goodbye to his parish in San Joaquín. He asked the communities in the parish to continue their fight in defense of the páramos and water, and against mining and hydroelectric projects to be built in San Joaquín and Chaucha.

“Tentáculos” (tentacles) of illegal mining – Cash moved in armored vehicles in the southern part of Ecuador is one product of illegal mining that is being investigated by A. G.’s office. Up to $500,000,000 was recorded in an investigation into two companies that exported more gold than was produced in the whole country in 2014. Small illegal miners are only the first link in in one of the most lucrative criminal industries in the world.
Small illegal miners take over areas where there is gold, including in concessions to large scale mining companies. Thousands of miners were evicted in 2019 from the La Merced de Buenos Aires sector, part of a private concession to Hanrine, a subsidiary of Hancock, an Australian company. Another 70 illegal mines were closed in Ponce Enríquez. Miners working at these illegal mines are well aware of the chain that launders the money earned from the gold they’ve mined.

The small miners, along with large scale miners such as Ecuagoldmining which holds the concession for the Río Blanco mine, truck the gold ore to plantas de beneficio. These are legal industrial scale processing plants in Zaruma, Portovelo and Camilo Ponce where cyanide and mercury are used to separate the gold from the rock. Both substances are illegal to use, and operations in two plants in El Oro were suspended in abril, 2019.
Once the gold is extracted, it is formed into balls, sheets or bars for sale to local businesses at prices lower than the international market price. Gold and silver buyers and collectors buy from these middlemen and sell to exporters who falsify documents so the purchases appear legal.

One of the key cases occured in 2014 when two Ecuadorian businesses, Spartan and Clearprocess, exported 177% more gold than was produced in Ecuador during 2014 according to legal records. Information from the SRI and customs showed that the two businesses recorded overseas money orders of $26,020 and $449,965 from CM Bullion LLC in the US in only 5 days in 10/2013. In total, Spartan and Clearprocess received close to $500 million. The way the companies shipped the money also generated suspicions from the AG’s office. Instead of electronic transfers, the companies asked Banco Bolivariano for letters of authorization to move the money in armored trucks between 10/2013 and 5/2014 to Machala, Piñas and Huaquillas. During these investigations, the police stopped a vehicle with Peruvian license plates that was carrying suitcases full of cash. The stop was referred to in a phone conversation of one of the managers of Spartan. <If you’ve reached this point, you now know more about illegal mining and how to launder those proceeds than you did before. Probably.> Lawyers for the two companies insist that all the activities were legal.

In another recent report, authorities say that illegal activity often leads to murder. The Camilo Ponce canton, adjacent to Cuenca, has a murder rate 1000% higher than Cuenca’s.

Road improvements in Sinincay – Sinincay celebrated its 167th anniversary as a parish. What was most hoped for by the residents was an agreement among the GAD parochial, Province of Azuay, and City of Cuenca to improve roads including the vía Cruce del Carmen-Sinincay-Racar <If this is the road I’m thinking of, it’s basically a series of potholes, guaranteed to remove your dental fillings.>; Mayancela in the El Salado sector; Larareto-Yanaturo; and San José de Balzay.

Air quality – You can go to http://gis.uazuay.edu.ec/ierse/sistemagrafico.php for real time information about air quality in Cuenca.

Reusable bags – The ordinance prohibiting single use plastics is in effect and more than 600 small craftspeople are making 1 million cloth bags. The pilot project of 60,000 bags is the work of 7 women in the Punta Corral community in Turi who are making the minimum wage. The million bags costing 99 cents each will be ready in Marzo and distributed at public events for free.

Descuentos y compras –

DelBank – Debt consolidation loans to pay your credit cards – Gran Colombia 5-21 y Mariano Cueva <You know this is a bad sign for a populace that used to pay for everything up to houses in cash.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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