The decision follows a petition by the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca to allow a ballot referendum on mining near water sources, including near the Tomebamba, Machángara, Norcay, Yanuncay, and Tarqui rivers.
In the 1960s, 15 tortoises were all that remained of the entire species. After 55 years of an ambitious breeding program, there are now more than 1,900 tortoises and they will be brought back to their home in the Galapagos Islands.
On 17 December 1819, the Congress of Angostura declared Gran Colombia an independent country. After two more years of war, the country achieved independence from Spain in 1821 under the leadership of its most famous son, Simón Bolívar.