Violence in the Amazon – 1 dead, dozens injured in Indigenous Protests

October 3, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Ecuador
Support Indigenous Protesters;
Stop Government Repression

Oct. 2, 2009

Ecuadorian police have attacked peaceful Shuar Indigenous protesters near the town of Macas in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon, leaving at least one Shuar teacher dead.

ecuadorPlease join Cultural Survival in condemning this state violence and urge Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa to refrain from further violence, investigate the Macas violence, and negotiate directly with Indigenous organizations to address their concerns and uphold their rights.

Indigenous Peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon launched protests early this week against a new Water Law and the Mining Law. These laws, they charge, ignore the rights of Indigenous Peoples as stated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169, both of which have been ratified by Ecuador. They endanger the Ecuadorian Amazon’s vast tropical rainforest by facilitating further encroachment by mining, oil and logging companies, construction of hydroelectric dams, and privatization of water.

Tito Puenchir, President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), called for “permanent protests” until changes are made in the water and mining laws to protect the natural resources of the Amazon region and recognize the rights of its Indigenous inhabitants. CONFENIAE also asked the United Nations and the Organization of American States to intervene.

Following the violence at Macas, President Correa offered to meet with CONFENIAE and the national indigenous organization CONAIE, but the Indigenous organizations insist that the talks take place in the Amazon. So far, Correa has not agreed to meet outside the capital.

TAKE ACTION:
For a model letter click here

Please send letters to President Correa. The fastest way to reach him is via the Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States (see email, fax and address below). Use this model letter or write your own polite message. Postage to Ecuador is 98 cents.

Thank you for standing with the Amazon’s Indigenous Peoples to defend their rights and to prevent corporate sacking of the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

Addresses:

Economista Rafael Correa Delgado
Presidente Constitucional de la República del Ecuador
García Moreno y Chile
Palacio de Carondelet
Quito, ECUADOR

Ambassador Luis Benigno Gallegos Chiriboga
2535 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482
Email: embassy@ecuador.org

(Photo: www.servindi.org)