Month: December 2007

Correa threatens to resign

Posted on

If the Ecuadorian president won’t get his way with regard to the recent protests, repression and arrests in the province of Orellana, he will resign. At least he threatened to do so a couple of days ago.

On December 7, relatives of the 22 arrested during the recent raid of community-in-protest Dayuma made their way to Montecristi on the other side of the Andes where the Constituent Assembly is currently meeting to rewrite the constitution. They plead to release the detained and lift the state of emergency in Orellana.

President Rafael Correa stated the next day on the radio that the detained would have to face charges of “sedition” – terrorism and sabotage. He declared furthermore that should the Constituent Assembly decide to grant the prisoners amnesty, he would resign.

That much for blackmail.

Governor of Orellana arrested under terrorism charges – repression continues

Posted on Updated on

Guadalupe Llori, governor of the Amazonian province of Orellana, was seized from her home and arrested on December 8 by the Ecuadorian military and charged with terrorism and sabotage for her support of the local strikes and protests. Locals who assembled at her house to contest her arrest were dispersed with tear gas.

For the last couple of weeks, protests and road blocks have been taking place particularly in the oil-producing community of Dayuma, on ancestral lands of the Huaorani and Tagaeri peoples who were displaced in the 1960s and 70s by the oil companies, paving the way for many poor settlers from other areas in search for a better life. Especially inhabitants of Loja in the Andes and Manabí at the coast which experienced a severe drought at the time moved to this part of the Amazon when the Agrarian Reform opened up the rainforest as no-man’s land to be claimed by anyone able to cut down 50% of the trees of a given piece of land.

roadblock-dayuma.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »

Repression in Orellana

Posted on Updated on

In the night of November 30 – December 1, over 50 people (including 3 minors), mainly from the community of Dayuma near Coca in the Northern Amazon region of Ecuador, were violently arrested by the military acting on orders of President Rafael Correa who pronounced a State of Emergency in the Amazonian Province of Orellana (Decree 770) due to protests in the oil producing province for improving road infrastructure and basic services and against feared quasi-privatisation of the state-owned oil company PETROECUADOR.

violence in orellana

Read the rest of this entry »

Communities criminalised for defending nature – summit in Quito

Posted on Updated on

A grassroots summit.

On November 16, indigenous, mestizo and African-Ecuadorian community leaders, farmers, environmentalists, activists, and individuals affected or concerned about the environmental situation in Ecuador gathered at the Catholic University in Quito for the First Summit of Communities Criminalized for Defending Nature.

Over recent years, violent confrontations, repression and human rights violations have increasingly characterised environmental conflicts in all parts of the country. The summit was organised by a variety of social movements in order to publicly highlight political, juridical, and extra-judicial persecutions and abuses of social and environmental activists.

Testimonies of persons jailed, criminalised, shot and stories of those assassinated were shared and collected and the social, political and economic reasons and consequences of the persecutions analysed. The global nature of repression against movements opposed to environmentally and socially damaging projects was emphasised, and the summit declared solidarity and support for all social and environmental grassroots movements worldwide.

The summit participants later marched to hand members of the National Constitutional Assembly a petition for amnesty for the over 200 community leaders currently imprisoned for the execution of their right to protest and to live in a healthy environment. The petition also demanded an end to the ceaseless violations of human rights and community rights to ancestral land generated by mining, oil exploitation, logging, hydroelectrical power stations, and shrimp farming.

(Freely translated and abridged from Javier Mazeres’ article of the same title, published in the newsletter of the Catalonian Association Ali Supaywww.alisupay.org)

Volunteering in the Amazon?

Posted on

If you want to do voluntary work in the Amazon, working with indigenous peoples, whether you’re interested in biodiversity, medicinal plants, shamanism,  music, planting trees or (authoring) teaching (material), – as long as you’re committed to social change on a grassroots level for at least a period of three months Colonos through its many connections in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon region can help you create an independent volunteer programme. No fees, no institution, no nonsense….

Riots and hunger: the impact of industrial bio-fuel

Posted on

Mainstream reporting:

The risks of food riots and malnutrition will surge in the next two years as the global supply of grain comes under more pressure than at any time in 50 years, according to one of the world’s leading agricultural researchers … Recent pasta protests in Italy, tortilla rallies in Mexico and onion demonstrations in India are just the start of the social instability to come unless there is a fundamental shift to boost production of staple foods, Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute, warned in an interview with the Guardian.”

… and another example:

“Bangladeshi officials say the price of cooking oil – of which it imports 1.2m tonnes a year – has almost tripled in the past two years because it is now valued as an alternative to diesel oil.”