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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-03 08:43 PM
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Ecuador: More Conflict Over Oil, Indigenous Rights

On the eve of an historic march to protest plans for oil extraction on their sacred homeland and denounce the series of human rights violations that their community endured over the last year, members of the Kichwa nationality from Sarayacu were violently attacked and detained last Thursday by pro-oil forces, while en route to Puyo, the nearest city and site of the march. Sarayacu, a community of approximately 1,500 has been waging an unprecedented nonviolent campaign of resistance to plans by the Argentinean oil company CGC, Houston-based Burlington Resources, and UK Perenco to explore for oil in their territory.

Traveling up the Ro Bobonaza by canoe, some 120 Sarayacu men, women, and children were stopped by members of the Canelos Kichwa community upriver, employed by CGC. Warning shots were fired at members of Sarayacu and dozens were detained by force. Several were able to escape into the forest, where they hid and spent three days lost until they found their way to the closest town. The others were not as fortunate. While detained, men and women leaders of Sarayacu, including the former president of the community, were attacked during the night with wooden clubs, stones and machetes. Several suffered serious wounds (for photo documentation, go to: ). These leaders were eventually released and transported to the local hospital in Puyo.

Despite the repressive measures to keep the Sarayacu and their allies from marching, the next day some 1,000 leaders from throughout the Ecuadorian Amazon joined them in the March for Peace and in Defense of the Collective Rights of all Nationalities of the Amazon. "Nobody can impede us from defending our Mother Earth, said one community representative.

Against the backdrop of the landmark trial of ChevronTexaco in Ecuadorian courts for environmental crimes in the countrys northern rainforest, the opposition of Sarayacu has become a flashpoint for the oil industry in Ecuador, as well as the Ecuadorian government, which plans to open the remaining pristine rainforests of the Southern Ecuadorian Amazon to oil companies. /


Between 1971 and 1991, Texaco extracted more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil from the Ecuadorian Amazon. In order to save millions of dollars, Texaco simply dumped the toxic wastes from its operations into the pristine rivers, forest streams and wetlands, ignoring industry standards.

Texaco's oil operations devastated one of the most biologically fragile places on earth. 2.5 million acres of rainforest were lost; Oil spills equivalent to 2 Exxon Valdez disasters have contaminated the land and water; and the company recklessly dumped 20 billion gallons of highly toxic wastewater into streams and rivers.

In 2001, Texaco merged with Chevron, forming the second largest energy company in the world. Now it is Chevron's legal and ethical responsibility to clean up the mess that Texaco left in Ecuador.

Amazon Watch has launched an international campaign in solidarity with Ecuadorian groups to demand that ChevronTexaco CLEAN UP, PAY UP and NEVER COME BACK TO ECUADOR!!! download brochure (in pdf format)
For more information contact us /

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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-03 10:02 PM
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1. "plans to open the remaining pristine rainforests. . . to oil companies "

. . "which plans to open the remaining pristine rainforests of the Southern Ecuadorian Amazon to oil companies"

. . Gee - sounds sorta what the BFEE wants to do to its OWN sanctuary in Alaska

. . so if the BFEE is willing to rape it's OWN country, I guess anyone elses is fair game

and the sheeples just change the channel

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