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Ecuador: Indigenous community take Government to court in attempt to protect their territory from oil extraction

Author: Intercontinental Cry, Published on: 12 April 2019

“Waorani people take Ecuadorian Government to court on April 11”, 10th April 2019

…On April 11th in the city of Puyo, Ecuador, the Waorani people of the Pastaza province, an indigenous Amazonian tribe, will take the Ecuadorian government to trial alleging numerous human rights violations in the government’s efforts to earmark their lands for oil extraction. The Waorani people’s efforts to protect their ancestral territory from oil extraction – nearly 500,000 acres of highly biodiverse, primary rainforest – has emerged as a flashpoint in the South American country, highlighting the stark gap between the Ecuadorian government’s thirst for oil revenues to relieve international debt and indigenous peoples’ internationally recognized rights to free, prior and informed consent, self-determination, collective territory and the rights of nature. Amidst the backdrop of decades of contamination and cultural disruption in indigenous territories across the Amazon by oil operations, the Waorani’s lawsuit aims to protect their homeland…from a similar fate. While international and Ecuadorian law recognize indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent over any decision that affects their lands, the Waorani’s lawsuit, cofiled with Ecuador’s Human Rights Ombudsmen, alleges that the Ecuadorian government employed time-tested tactics of misinformation and manipulation within Waorani communities in order to deceive the Waorani and get the signatures required to put their land up for auction…

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