Thank you for the positive response.
I understand the need for more information and will do all I can to obtain and share it. One of the interesting things is that very little is known about this culture (the Yumbos). There is quite the recovered complex in Pichincha (called Tulipe see site below), fairly close and east of Intag- but no serious studies have even been done in Intag- this in spite of hundreds and probably thousands of burial mounds, small pyramids, and so forth strewn all over the area- and especially the Junin-Cerro Pelado area. In fact, right behind Marcia Ramirez's house (one of Intag best known activist) is a small pyramid. Tulipe site
In any case, I will be sharing what there is on the Yumbos with you. In the meantime I will also be knocking on other doors to see if we can get support. What I'm hoping is that we can financed a preliminary study that will awaken interest in other entities- whether national or international.
On the international letter: I think you are right- we need to get it to a wider audience. I can do this no problem, and I was really hoping to have something else to go with it. However, I see the value of yours being the first such instruments to engage other actors- such as universities all over the world!!
A short on Intag news::: The signals are ambiguous regarding mining. yes, the gov approved $ 180,000 in 2010 to do social and environmental studies for the Junin project, but nothing came of it. Later in the year, the news was removed from the government site. Extra officially, we know that the government does not want to exclude mining from Junin- and officially, Intag is still designated a mining area rather than a tourism and agricultural area in national government plans (Plan de Desarrollo Nacional). I believe- and I hope that I am not wrong- that the government sees mining in Intag as too much of a headache; much like trying to extract a wisdom tooth from a porcupine barehanded!;) So, my guess is that it is in the government's plans- but not for now. That can change if they cannot do mining in the south of the country (Cordillera del Condor)- a site owned by a Chinese mining conglomerate (which Im suing by the way for libel-- ill be in court on the 24th). The Shuar people are opposed to mining in this area, however, there is also widespread support from other actors.
Another factor weighting in is the Chinese demand for copper. The Correa government needs money. Most of the international lending agencies don't want anything to do with the Correa government (mainly because of payment default). The Chinese have money and need copper. And sure enough, during the past 12 or so months, the Chinese have been lending billions of dollars to Correa. If there is a significant increase in Chinese demand for copper, it will very likely force the Ecuadorian government to reactivate Junin.
In any case, the copper is still there. We have taken all kinds of measures to block mining development- even to the point of creating a Municipal protected area over the mining site. No measure by itself is enough to stop a government with a budget deficit and a huge mining deposit in its territory. However, the more blocks, or obstacles we do construct, the harder it will be for it to justify the destruction of communities, water resources, forests, biodiversity, and the nation's archaeological wealth.
And if we could find another justification, we'd invest in it.
Locally, we are paying for legal support to help the communities of Barcelona (Selva Alegre), El Rosal and Paraiso stop mining development, and in the case of Barcelona, to force the government to force the company to comply with environmental and social regulations (which they have violated for decades). In paraiso and El rosal, mining activities are currently stopped. But these companies are powerful (they are national) In the case of El Paraiso, geologist from Codelco are working with the Ecuadorian mining concession owner. Codelco is the world's biggest copper producer (Codelco is Chilean). The community of El Paraiso is located west of Junin- so it could be that they are hoping to strike copper in the same general area. We face a tough fight if they find anything worth exploring for. So far, it's only been preliminary exploration (just taking surface water and soil samples).
As for other news: it's complicated, but a group of affected landowners around the Selva Alegre cement factory outside Otavalo and the quarry site here in Intag approached us about two months ago to help them force the company (la Farge- the *world's larges* cement producing company) to stop the pollution, support them in having their labor and land rights respected, and so forth. We are working with the group and trying to build a much, much wider base of support against the company, and include other human, economic and environmental rights issues. The possible contamination issue can be huge and tragic. The same company has been cited for mercury contamination in a cement factory in New York. I am much more concerned about the air contamination from the cement plant outside Otavalo than the destruction the limestone quarry has inflicted in Intag.(Lafarge's Ravena, New York<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravena_New_York>plant "was the greatest source of mercury <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(element)>emissions in New York from 2004 to 2006" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafarge
Yesterday I received a call from woman in Esmeraldas to help their just-formed small group fighting small and medium scale gold miners who are poisoning their rivers with mercury. She told me one child has died already, and people are getting angrier. Says they have no idea how to form a group like ours and steps to take. There's no way we can say no of course.
Mining, for communities, is definitely a damn curse. If you need more information on what else we've been up to, let me know. I try to update the Decoin site, but I often have no time. The Selva alegre issue we are not publicizing for now- the less the company and gov knows the better.
I hope this is what you were looking for.
Saludos to all