Monday, February 6, 2023

Ecuador: indigenous peoples ask to protect the forest from mining

QUITO ( Associated Press) – Fifty indigenous people protested before the Constitutional Court Tuesday to demand the government protect the forest in compliance with court rulings against advances by mining and oil companies.

Amidst cries for justice and action and singing and dancing in their native languages, men and women from the Kofan Sinago and Waorani communities – thousands of years old inhabitants of the Amazon rainforest – demanded effective decisions by authorities to stop the exploitation of the resource Of.

Wider Guaramag, president of the Sinango community, said during the measure that they demand the withdrawal of the concessions – according to official figures 52 mining companies and one oil block – and demand extensive reparations because they say they are in Aguarico. The river obtains food by fishing.

“We’ve always fished there, so if those foods, those fish are contaminated by mining, we are directly affected,” he said.

After long trials in various courts, finally the Provincial Court of Sucumbios Province and the Court of Pastaza Province have consistently ruled in recent years in favor of the Kofan and Waorani indigenous peoples and against extraction activities in thousands of hectares of rain forest. ,

The sentences determined the responsibility of the Ecuadorian state in violation of the right of these indigenous communities to free and informed prior consultation and self-determination, and ordered compensatory measures for those affected, which is still pending.

Gaba Guiquita, of the Waorani ethnic group, assured that after years of struggle, they are still waiting for the results. “Today we raise our voice loudly, because we want to be healthy in our areas, the state harms us because it does not respect our decisions and enters our area.”

Ecuador receives about 30% of its revenue from the fiscal box from oil activity and mining activity is increasing in mines in other regions of the country, generating exports of about $3,000 million per year, especially gold mines. copper and other minerals from the south, according to the authorities, of the Andean country.

Nation World News Desk
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