Some 800 members of the Awá indigenous people, who inhabit northern Ecuador on the border with Colombia, arrived July 11 in Quito after marching cross-country to demand the government recognize their rights to “ancestral lands.” Awá leader Byron Chuquisán said the Ecuadoran government had recognized their land rights in 1986, but their territories have since been invaded by illegal loggers who are exploiting timber without any controls.
Chuquisán called for overturning a “co-management” plan granting nearby Afro-Ecuadoran communities access to the disputed lands. The Awá were received by Vice President Lenín Moreno, filling in for President Rafael Correa, who was in Europe. (Milenio, Mexico, July 12)
See our last post on Ecuador.