Meanwhile, in Ecuador, operations have begun at the billion-dollar Chinese-owned Mirador open-pit copper mine. It’s the first large-scale copper mine in Ecuador. The mine has faced massive resistance by the indigenous Shuar people, who say they were not consulted and have been forced off their lands by its construction. In November 2014, leading anti-mining activist José Isidro Tendetza Antún was found dead only days before he was due to speak out against the Mirador mine at the U.N. climate summit in Lima, Peru. He was found buried with his arms and legs bound and with signs of torture. Activists have accused the Ecuadorean authorities of complicity in his murder. Speaking a year before his death at the assembly of the communities of the south of Ecuador in December 2013, Tendetza urged the community to stay united against threats to their ancestral territory.
José Isidro Tendetza Antún “Compañeros, here united, we have to continue forward. Compañeros, if we are not united, we don’t have value. Compañeros, now is the time. Now is the time to say 'enough!' to this corruption that comes to us and the threats to our territory in the Ecuadorean Amazon.”