La Ronda is just around the corner

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Update on Real life "Avatar" story in Ecuador Amazonia. December 2016.

Real life "Avatar" story continues in Amazonia. 
State of emergency was declared in the province of Morona Santiago on December 14, 2016 - story- in- Ecuador- Amazonia  
December 19, 2016. Authorities refused to have a dialog with defenders of the jungle until these, responsible for police officer death, will be captured. Source:

December 20, 2016. PoW, 11 army soldiers, were captured and liberated by defenders of the jungle.
La dirigente del pueblo Kichwa Sarayaku garantizó los derechos humanos de los uniformados. Foto: Cortesía de Sarayaku Defensores de la Selva 

However PoW captured by the authority are still in prison.

December 21, 2016. The residents of the parish of San Carlos de Panantza, canton of San Juan Bosco, provincia Morona Santiago, prefer not to leave their farms or houses. On a streets only pass vehicles and tanquetas blindadas with uniformados armados, that run through the area and surrounding villages.

Las calles y plazas de San Carlos Panantza lucen desoladas, desde el fin de semana. otos: César Pasaca /Agencia API
El dirigente shuar Agustín Wachapá fue detenido la madrugada de este 21 de diciembre del 2016 en Morona Santiago, en el cantón San Juan Bosco. Foto: API

click here to sign petition
The text of the petition in English: The Shuar community of Nankints in Ecuador was evicted in August 2016 to make way for the construction of a mining camp, La Esperanza, belonging to a Chinese company, Explorcobres SA. The mining company, through a court order, has claimed these indigenous territories as its own. The mega-mining project has been given the go-ahead without prior consultation or consent from the affected communities. The project is strategic as it is considered the second largest copper mine in the world.
The concessions allocated to the Chinese company surpass 41,000 hectares, located in the San Juan Bosco county in the province of Morona Santiago in Ecuador’s southern Amazon region. The project is still in the advanced exploratory phase and the eviction of other Shuar communities is feared. Since the August eviction, the county has been militarized. According to indigenous organizations, police have been undertaking constant searches, raids and controls of indigenous groups, creating harassment and fear in the county’s inhabitants.
Last November, several Shuar people attempted to reclaim the indigenous territory of Nankints. Clashes broke out with police and military personnel guarding the mining camp, leaving several people injured. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), called for dialogue with the Government to avoid further confrontations but no resolution was reached.
On Wednesday, December 14, a new confrontation took place in the mining camp, leaving one police officer dead. Seven police officers and soldiers were wounded. After these events, the Ecuadorian Government decreed a state of emergency in the province of Morona Santiago, which prohibits the right to association; overrides the right to inviolability of the home; permits the censorship of information; and allows the deployment of armed forces. Currently, more than 700 elite soldiers and policemen have been deployed from Quito and Guayaquil to the join the existing military presence in San Juan Bosco. Large numbers of military trucks and tanks have also been mobilized. The military intervention began at dawn on Saturday December 17 with an invasion by land and air. According to witness testimony, the women and children of the San Carlos Limón and Panantza parishes have taken refuge in the mountains.
Human rights lawyers report that 4 people have been arrested and that the community is frightened by the military presence. Human rights and indigenous organizations fear a strong repression of the indigenous Shuar people and more confrontations to come.
From CONAIE and CONFENIAE, we demand that the authority demilitarize the territory to avoid further confrontations and acts of violence. We call on the Ministry of the Interior, The Ministry of Defense and the Joint Command of the Armed Forces to act according to the Ecuadorian Constitution and respect the life of the Shuar People.

We call for dialogue and respect for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Ecuadorian Constitution, both of which forbid the presence of military personnel in indigenous territories and require prior, informed and free consultations before the implementation of mining or oil projects.