Published: Monday 15 April 2002

A temporary suspension has been clamped on the licence of a pipeline builder in Ecuador by the country's environment ministry. The ministry has said that until the company repairs damages near a protected forest, the licence would remain revoked. The ministry took the decision after construction work caused damage in an area called Guarumos. "The measure is specific and temporary, until the company carries out remediation work," said Ecuador's undersecretary for environmental quality, Alfredo Barriga. The company's spokesperson Francisco Diaz said that the ongoing agitation of environmental activists near Guarumos had obstructed the company's work.

The construction activity of the company in the Amazon forests has suffered setbacks as protesters seized oil wells and blocked highways, demanding more dev elopment funds from the government and the firm.

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