Mining concessions in Ecuador stalled over compliance with indigenous rights (MongaBay)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Indigenous communities in Ecuador celebrated this week after President Lenin Moreno announced Monday that the government would come down harder on oil and mining companies that don’t comply with the country’s social and environmental laws. New mining concessions are now stalled until the companies can prove they’ve complied with all regulations under …

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Signs of lasting trauma in people evicted to make way for giant mine in Ecuador (The Guardian)

TSUNTSUIM, ECUADOR - Months after they were evicted from their homes to make way for a mine, almost half the population of an Ecuadorian village is suffering from psychological damage, experts have said. Psychiatrists found 42% of the indigenous Shuar people of Tsuntsuim village suffering from mental health problems and trauma. Many of the villagers …

What would you do if you had “nature’s pharmacy” in your backyard? (Mongabay)

  TAMIA YURA, ECUADOR – Benjamin Mamallacta Alvarado and his wife Dalia Tapuy were both recently sick, but instead of going to a pharmacy to pick up medication, they went into their backyard, which just happens to be in the Amazon rainforest. Born and raised in the Amazon, Alvarado has been using medicinal plants all …

The Last Days of War: FARC’s ‘Final Conference’ in Pictures (The New Internationalist)

EL DIAMANTE, COLOMBIA - On 2 October, Colombia has a chance to put an end to a 52-year conflict, as it will hold a referendum on its historic agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). FARC are the largest guerrilla movement involved in the Colombian conflict, having started as a Marxist-Leninist peasant force in …