Dear Friends and Companions,
In the name of all the communities northwestern Pichincha, we write to thank you for your help and support in broadcasting news of the attack on the Miranda brothers (August 12th) by paramilitary miners. We beg you to continue supporting the news broadcast of these illegal acts against country dwellers and that you help us in the legal battle to come. As some of you already know, the intellectual authors of this crime (owners of the mining concession and their renters) are free and cheerful, ready to send more killers to shoot at those of us who live in the countryside.
In our face, Ulbio Moncayo (title-holder of the Cholupe concession) was freed hours after having been arrested in possession of cartridges of dynamite, in plain sight and patience of the authorities, despite their knowing that two people were assaulted with  machine-gun shots. Mr. Ulbio Moncayo was not even investigated, and with the help of one Concejal Macas, was released by the attorney general of Pedro Vicente Maldonado.
Moreover, one of the suspects in the assault against the Miranda brothers, is Mrs. Darlinda Duran -the same who impudently lied and filed an accusation of kidnapping her against “an ecologist man” (she doesn’t have the decency to name names) which is a vile lie, and the attorney general of Pedro Vicente signed this accusation. Isn’t that crazy?!!!
        
The same day, Wednesday the 13th of August 2008, after the incident with Mr. Miner Ulbio Moncayo, some of us entered the Km 90 road towards the illegal mining operation, sited forcibly on the lands of the grandfather of the youths who had been attacked. We asked for the support of the police of Los Bancos, Pedro Vicente Maldonado, Nanegalito, and Nanegal, and nonetheless not one police officer was able to come with us into the site, where the paramilitaries were armed to the teeth and waiting for us to appear to turn us around. By luck, and thanks to a good deed by a good Samaritan, we contacted the Judicial Police in Quito (GIR), and they sent a special group in the night which, together with community members armed with their hunting shotguns, captured four heavily-armed criminals in possession of submachine guns, a Mauser rifle, drugs, cell phones and money in cash.
As we advanced in the night we could hear the crossfire of bullets on the mountain. We walked approximately 9 hours in the darkness through the mud, without stopping, until we met with our other companions who had entered through Pacto, together with the special police group. The arrested ones went walking amidst the indignant shouts of the relatives of the youths who had been shot at the day before, and transferred on shoulders along that same path to a hospital.
Companions, the struggle continues! On Tuesday (August 19th) we will be in Quito with the relatives of the Miranda brothers, making declarations to communications media, so that this does not go unpunished.  Once again, many thanks for your help and let’s continue the struggle in defense of our lives.
PS: We propose a meeting among all the organizations, in NW Pichincha or in Intag, with the purpose of tracing joint defense strategies.
Here are two addresses where you can see images of the conflict with the “paramilitary miners” who attacked us:
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/29336736@N04/sets/72157606752928253/
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/29336736@N04/sets/72157606831641568/
Companions, we need to support one another en masse to help the affected campesinos continue with the lawsuits. Remember that now it is our neighbors, tomorrow it will be us. Let’s help them out. We need a “kitty” to pay for lawyers to follow the legal processes to order the bullies away from us.
            
CODECONO