Ecuador: president condemned for policy on uncontacted tribes

President Rafael Correa was condemned by Ecuador’s national indigenous peoples’ organization CONAIE over his policy towards uncontacted Amazon tribes Jan. 29. “Correa’s regime is promoting oil production on land inhabited by uncontacted tribes,” read the statement from CONAIE. The statement was made in an open letter to the World Social Forum being held in the Amazon town of Belem, Brazil, which President Correa is attending. It comes after the recent announcement by government ministers they intend to protect Ecuador’s uncontacted peoples from illegal loggers.

The only uncontacted indigenous peoples in Ecuador are members of the Waorani tribe. They are believed to be split into two groups, known as the Tagaeri and the Taromenane. CONAIE’s statement also accuses President Correa of “failing to recognize indigenous peoples’ fundamental rights” and labelling indigenous people as “terrorists,” “delinquents” and “fundamentalists” when they speak out in defense of their land and rights.

From Survival International, Jan. 30

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