Ecuador: Sarayaku Denounce Illegal Entry of Oil Companies into Territory

FELIX SANTI, President of SARAYAKU, ADDRESSING THE MEDIA OUTSIDE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FELIX SANTI, President of SARAYAKU, ADDRESSING THE MEDIA OUTSIDE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

The community of Sarayaku, located on the Bobonaza river in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador, arrived to the capital yesterday to speak to the media in the press room of the National Assembly.
Days ago the indigenous Congresswoman Lourdes Tiban requested the room, where they had previously held several press conferences, so that the delegates of the people of Sarayaku could share the incursion into its territory of technical enforcement environmental studies. Yesterday morning, the President of the National Assembly of Ecuador, Gabriela Rivadeneira, told the indigenous assemblies members of the Pachacutik movement that authorities in Sarayaku could not use press room for security reasons, without explaining the reasons for this refusal.

The delegates of Sarayaku and several indigenous women from the Amazon decided to give Press Conference on the street, next door to the National Assembly. A group of twenty-five people indigenous representatives and technicians spoke with media, denounced this situation as a new discrimination against the indigenous peoples of Ecuador.

On May 22, representatives of the multinational company, Cardno ENTRIX, hired by the National Secretariat for hydrocarbons and the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador, entered without notice to the towns of Teresamama and Chuvacocha. They expressed that the reason for their presence was to study the environmental impact for the seismic survey and consultation prior to the settled indigenous communities in the oil blocks 74 and 75, since among both concessions would affect 68% of the territory of Saryaku. The communities of Pacayaku, Boberas and Teresamama, are located within the territory recognized and legalized by the State, that belong to the Kichwa people of Sarayaku, in a writing of collective ownership of land.

So are the people of Sarayaku, who should be notified, consulted and express consent for any type of project that the State develop in its territory.

Sarayaku leaders also complained that the State would have breached the ruling handed down by the Inter-American Court of human rights, issued July 27, 2012, in favor of Sarayaku, in which refers to the consultation process:

The State should consult the Sarayaku people with prior, adequate, and full compliance with international standards applicable to the matter, in the eventual case that is intended to carry out any activity or project of extraction of natural resources in their territory, or investment plan or development of any other kind that involves potential impact on its territory.
— Sarayaku vs. Ecuador

The people of Sarayaku request the Secretariat of hydrocarbons to cease any environmental impact assessment because it has been made without their consent. They will send a communication to the Inter-American Court indicating this new violation of their human rights, such as consultation prior free and informed, and the international ruling to its favor.