Ecuador is currently seeing another indigenous uprising in response to the proposed Law of Water (amongst others). Yesterday, a group indigenous protesters (mainly from the Shuar nation) in the Amazon were shot at from a helicopter, leaving two dead and nine other wounded.
colonos is replicating here briefly a statement of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and providing some links to further sources.
The proposed Law of Water is said to be in violation of the Ecuadorian Constitution, which prohibits all forms of privatisation of water. The law would allow for privatisation of water through the back door and prioritise needs of big developments (hydropower and mining) over those of the people. Moreover, in its article 43 it allows for the use of the Armed Forces in situations of protest and conflict around water use (such as when people would protest the diversion of community water for use in mining).
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The Governing Council of CONFENIAE (Confederación de las Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana) denounces the grave human rights violations of the Ecuadorian government of Rafael Correa Delgado with regard to its recent actions concerning in particular the Shuar Nation of the Amazonian province Morona Santiago, and calls for a response by national and international human rights organisations.
On Wednesday, 30 September 2009, at 4:30 in the afternoon, the public order forces used a helicopter and firearms to brutally attacked protesters on the main bridge over the Upano river which runs between the provinces of Morona Santiago and Pastaza. Two Shuar protesters died in the attacks, nine were left wounded, during the otherwise peaceful “resistance for life and in defence of nature (pachamama)”.
Today, the dictatorial president Rafael Correa has declared a civil war against the indigenous nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, which is why we ask the OAS (Organisation of American States) and the United Nations for urgent intervention in and observation of these violations in accordance with all the international treaties and conventions ratified by Ecuador.
We declare a maximum state of emergency in all the ancestral territories of the Amazonian Nationalities, without declining any actions of the current indigenous uprising.
We also ask for the formation of a commission comprising representatives of such countries as Bolivia, Venezuela, Guatemale, Nicaragua, countries of UNASUR, CAN, the international human rights organisations, COICA (Coordinadora de Organzaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica) to help mediate between the Ecuadorian government and the indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of Ecuador.
Finally, we ask for solidarity of all the social sectors of the country in the face of these events in Amazonia, that do not respect a true Plurinational State.
Puyo, Unión Base, 30 September 2009
CONSEJO DE GOBIERNO DE LA CONFENIAE
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