The story so far: We know that anti-mining campaigner and now Prefect of Azuay province, Yaku Pérez, organized the officially recognized and legally binding local referendum in the Girón Canton of Azuay Province in the South of Ecuador (a province in Ecuador being made up of many cantones). When that vote went 87% against INV Metal (INV.to) the company just said “We don’t care, we’ll move our mill to the other side of the valley where it’s not Girón Canton”, so Yaku Pérez and his friends replied, “Okay, we’re going to organize he same type of vote, only this time covering the whole of the Province.” He tried to get that to happen via the local mechanisms but came up just short in the provincial committee vote (he needed 18 votes out of the 23 and got 15), so instead is going the longer route and has applied to be allowed to organize a referendum under the national constitutional rules.
Today there’s movement on that, with Ecuador’s Constitutional Court having allowed the paperwork to move forward. They have notified Azuay’s prefect that all is in order and the job now is to get at least 10% of the population of Azuay to sign an official petition. Pérez has said this morning that they will begin the petition in two months’ time, by the end of 2019 they should have cleared the next hurdle and will be ready to get court sanction for the referendum.