The Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina is housed by Accion Ecológica (AE) in Quito, Ecuador. It is led by César Padilla, a Chilean activist. It combines the work of 40 organisations from Mexico to Patagonia, and it is linked to networks in other continents. Its objetive is the defense of communities affected by the mining boom in Latin America since the 1990s, a clear sign that the world economy is not “dematerializing”. OCMAL keeps an outstanding inventory of mining conflicts. This will be completed and updated in the four years of the EJOLT project, and will be translated into English (when relevant) and made more generally available in Work Package 2. OCMAL focuses on trends on the extraction of minerals in the world, the opening of new markets, and, locally, on the power asymmetries, gender dimensions, legal procedures and corruption, environmental damages including water use and pollution, in mining conflicts. It supports new decision-making processes, such as local referendums or meaningful participation in EIAs (environmental impacts assessments). It also is involved in capacity building for local organisations to be able to understand and lobby on risks to health, on mining legislation and learn how to claim environmental liabilities. It supports indigenous communities (under Convention 169 of ILO, and other norms), and recently it has been fighting against the “criminalization” of environmental complaints in some countries. It pays attention to transnational projects and treaties (as between Argentina and Chile, in the Pascua Lama case that threatens glaciers).
Ivonne Yánez. Environmental activist. Founding member of Oilwatch, founding member of Acción Ecológica, active in the network Ecological Debt (www.deudaecologica.org), former member of the executive committee of Friends of the Earth International.
Gloria Chicaiza. Mining expert at Acción Ecologica, main author of the study on mining in the Cordillera del Cóndor for the CEECEC project.
Cesar Padilla. Executive Coordinator of the Latin American Mining Conflict Watch (OCMAL) and member of the Socio-environmental Rights Area of the Center of Ecology