The Ecuadorian Government threatens to use public force in order to initiate petrol activities in oil concession block 23 and block 24 in the Amazonian region. This is a clear threat against the indigenous peoples that since ancient times inhabit the Ecuadorian Amazon, and specifically the territories of Pastaza and Morona Santiago provinces. Fierce opposition to oil development in the region by the indigenous communities forced the American-based energy company Burlington Resources to declare force majeure in its contract with the host government.
The oil company is required to consult with local population as a condition for its concession contract, but so far, the indigenous communities have refused to participate in such consultations, and prevented the company from moving ahead with exploration plans. A court injunction filed by FIPSE (Independent Federation of the Shuar People of Ecuador) requires the company to engage with the organisation as the authorized representative of Shuar and communities.
Now, the Ecuadorian Government threatens to use military force in order to initiate petrol activities in ancestral Shuar land, in a clear threat against the indigenous peoples and nationalities that inhabit the Ecuadorian Amazon. The governor of Pastaza, Mr. Fernando OrdoÒez, stated to the daily newspaper El Universo that "the decision of the regime is to initiate the petrol activity in the blocks number 23 and 24 even it has to use the public force" (El Universo, page 16, section El PaÌs, May 29 2003). In the same manner, insisted in that "the Government will not take one step back in the petrol policy".
Read entire feature
Click here to send letters of protest to the Ecuadorian Government.