On Saturday, October 12th, indigenous women from the Amazon set out from the town of Puyo, Ecuador, to march over 250 kilometers to the capital Quito in order to awake the nation’s conscience and inspire action by authorities and civil society. The march, called “Movilización de Mujeres Por La Vida” or, Mobilization of Women For Life, has quickly expanded along the way as family, friends, and members of the public have joined in a collective now numbering in the hundreds.
“Respect towards Mother Earth has become vulnerable due to economic interests that blatantly violate human rights and the basic right for life,” the group expressed in a press release from October 10th. “We (the indigenous peoples of the Amazon) are witnesses to the neo-colonization of our people and the indiscriminate exploitation of our natural resources.”
This coordinated action comes in the wake of President Correa’s recent decision to dismiss the Yasuní-ITT initiative, which would have left Yasuní National Park’s resources unexploited in exchange for receiving revenue from the international community for reduced CO2 emissions.
“We are marching; we are going to arrive in Quito and we are going to speak to Mr. Rafael Correa. We don’t want oil, maybe there is another way of life,” stated Gloria Ushigua, president of the Association of Sapara Women. “We are organized, we have been organized for years, and we don’t want oil.”
The women are also marching to defend the rights of the peoples who inhabit the Yasuni region in voluntary isolation and who, due to their lack of contact with modern society, cannot represent themselves. “The government says there are no people in Yasuni. That is a lie. Yes, there are brothers living there,” affirms Rosa Dahua, an Andoa Kichwa indigenous woman.
The march is expected to arrive in Quito on Tuesday, October 15.
For more updates on the march, including recent press releases, please visit: http://comunamazonica.blogspot.com/.