Indigenous people of Ecuador present more than 365,000 signatures against extractive activity | News

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Indigenous organizations in Ecuador presented more than 365,000 signatures to the Constitutional Court on Tuesday to demand their right to be consulted prior to authorizing any type of mining or oil extraction in the Amazon area.


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A significant number of people from endemic communities of the Amazon jungle, led by members of the A'i Kofán from Sinangoe, and Waraoni from Pastaza, appeared at the constitutional judicial headquarters to present the 365,515 signatures.

Given this action, it is expected that the Ecuadorian court will rule in the near future regarding the request that has also been supported by other social organizations in the South American country.

"The world has its eyes on Ecuador due to the historic cases of the A'i Kofán community of Sinangoe and Waorani of Pastaza, who defeated the business power and the Ecuadorian State that handed over mining and oil concessions in their ancestral territories, without due consultation”, expresses the statement published by the signatories of the petition.

The text goes on to detail that the petition is positioned against the intention of the Government headed by Guillermo Lasso "to apply oil and mining policies that propose the expansion of these activities, putting at risk indigenous territories throughout the country, especially in the Amazon." .

For his part, the leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Confenaie), Marlon Vargas, referred to the precedent set by the A'i Kofán community and stressed that the court has "the historic opportunity" to issue a ruling that guarantees the right of indigenous communities to consultation and “prior, free and informed consent”.

The president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), LeĂłnidas Iza Salazar referred to the threat of climate change as a product of the system of capitalist exploitation.

The president of the A'i Kofán Community of Sinangoe, Victor Quenamá, also issued an opinion, who asserted that the indigenous community does not want to exploit the forests, or that they be exploited by miners or heavy machinery, as well as reaffirming their desire to defend the forest.

For her part, the president of the Waorani Organization of Pastaza, Silvana Nihua, affirmed that they feel supported by the national and international community, as well as expressed her desire that the court support the request of the indigenous peoples.

It is worth mentioning that the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, issued a decree last July that seeks to double the national oil production, an action that was seen as unconstitutional by various social organizations in the country; because it made the decision without taking into account the criteria of the communities that could be affected by the exploitation of crude oil.

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