Palo Quemado (Agenzia Fides) - "Farmers in Palo Quemado have to face the environmental impact caused by mining activity in the area, especially water and contaminated fields", denounces Mgr. Geovanni Mauricio Paz Hurtado, Bishop of the Diocese of Lacatunga (Ecuador). According to information sent to Fides, Mgr. Paz spoke in recent days during a meeting in Sigchos, near Latacunga, a town on the plateau of Ecuador, capital of the province of Cotopaxi, 90 kilometers south of Quito, near the Cotopaxi volcano.
According to the Bishop, a vegetable species that served as food for livestock no longer exists: "these are the consequences of the mining. This is why people are intimidated and worried".
After some interventions on what the long-term environmental impact implies, all those present have decided to meet on July 19 at the Parish of Palo Quemado, where the proposal to leave the canton of Sigchos out of any mining activity will be discussed, because the little that has been done greatly worries the population.
The area is famous for the production of Panela, a food preparation obtained from sugar cane juice, boiled at high temperatures; from which a viscous molasses is obtained which is then poured into small molds where it is allowed to cool.
It is also the only area in Ecuador with the "green" certification, that is to say, the best, therefore there is the risk of stopping or destroying this national production. In this regard, Mgr. Paz said, "I believe that our concern for our people is the responsibility of all. Mining activities provide a temporary solution to the family's economic problems, but we do not realize what impact it has". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 10/07/2017)