Ecuador: indigenous alliance accuses government of “genocide” in Amazon

Ecuador’s national indigenous organization announced last week that is filing a legal complaint against the government, including President Rafael Correa, for complicity with “genocide” against indigenous people in the Amazon. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) argues that expanding oil exploration and mining is imperiling the lives of “uncontacted” indigenous groups that have chosen voluntary isolation. Especially named are the Tagaeri, Taromenane, Oñamenane and Iwene ethnicities, all sub-groups of the Waorani nationality who are believed to live in the area of Yasuni National Park. The legal complaint argues that industrial exploitation of the Amazonian rainforest in Ecuador is causing a “cultural and physical disappearance” of these indigenous peoples, “which amounts to the crime of ethnocide or genocide.” The move by CONAIE is unprecedented in Ecuador. (Mongabay, April 6; AFP, March 30; CONAIE, March 29)

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  1. Ecuador: indigenous leaders file OAS complaint against Correa
    Representatives of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) traveled to Washington late last month to file a complaint against President Rafael Correa before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), a body of the Organization of American States (OAS). The complaint charges Correa with failure to protect “uncontacted” bands of the Tagaeri and Taromenane indigenous peoples from oil development, placing their survival at risk; and with the “criminalization” of protest, noting that some 200 indigenous leaders have faced legal persecution under his government. The complaint calls for the IACHR to send a delegation to Ecuador to investigate the charges. CONAIE in a statement said: “in the government of Rafael Correa, the implementation of a capitalist and extractivist policy is every day more visible.” (Otra América, Nov. 14; El Universo, Guayaquil, Oct. 27)