Ecuador

The Bambas mine

Academic research confirms - more mining leads to more fighting

Mario Pérez-Rincón
Nick Meynen
| 9th January 2018
A recent academic study examined the data relating to growth in mining exports and the growth in environmental conflicts across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The correlation is almost perfect. MARIO PEREZ-RINCON and NICK MEYNEN examine how 'victims' of such conflict can become environmental ‘warriors’.

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Ecuador's 'free trade' agreement with the US only undermined their ability to get justice for Texaco's toxic legacy of oil pollution, and did little to attract investment. Now it has been dumped along with 15 others. Photo of Lago Agrio by Caroline Bennet

Ecuador rips up 16 toxic trade treaties

Nick Dearden
Global Justice Now
| 31st May 2017
Ecuador is the latest country to tear up 'free trade' agreements that have so far cost the country $21 billion in damages awarded to foreign companies by 'corporate courts', and yielded next to nothing in return, writes Nick Dearden. So the outgoing President Correa did the only sensible thing: in one of his final executive acts this month, he scrapped 16 toxic trade and investment treaties.

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Roadside banner opposing mining in Intag, Ecuador. Photo: dawn paley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Ecuador's 'progressive' extractivism - mining, ecocide and the silencing of dissent

Carlos Zorrilla
| 6th March 2017
Ecuador's 'socialist' President Correa has unleashed a wave of repression at Andean communities seeking to protect their lands, forests and nature from open pit mining, writes Carlos Zorrilla. With most of biodiversity-rich Intag region conceded to international mining companies, the mood is one of rising fear and desperation in the countdown to next month's election.

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Shuar communities are under oppressive military occupation. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry.

Rafael Correa: cease your violent attacks on Ecuador's Shuar Arutam People!

Governing Council of the Shuar Arutam People
| 24th January 2017
In law, the Shuar Arutam People of Ecuador's Amazon control their ancestral forests. But the government has allocated more than 38% of their territory to large-scale mining, and a gigantic hydroelectric dam is about to be built. Peaceful resistance has been met with a violent military occupation against a People whose only demand, set out in this Open Letter, is peace and justice.

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Shuar communities are under oppressive military occupation. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry.

Blood and fire: mining and militarization in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Jake Ling
Intercontinental Cry
| 24th January 2017
The opposition of Ecuador's Shuar People to large scale mining and hydroelectric development in their ancestral forests has triggered a full-scale military occupation of their lands in the Amazon cloud forest, writes Jake Ling, accompanied by a surge in state-sponsored murder and violence - for which Chinese and Canadian mining companies must share responsibility.

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Never again! Texaco-Chevron's toxic oil legacy at Lago Agrio in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr (CC BY).

Ecuador's next Amazon oil battle: Indigenous Peoples on the front line

Kevin Koenig
Amazon Watch
| 4th April 2016
The rights of nature and of indigenous communities are enshrined in Ecuador's constitution, writes Kevin Koenig. But down in the Amazon the government is going full speed ahead with oil extraction on indigenous territories whose owners are committed to keeping their forests and waters pollution-free. A mighty battle is brewing that looks certain to come to a head this year.

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Photo: 攝影家9號 - Photographer No.9 via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Greens commit to Rights of Nature law

The Ecologist
| 29th February 2016
At its Spring Conference in Harrogate yesterday the Green Party of England & Wales gave formal recognition to the Rights of Nature in an overwhelming vote, committing it to passing a new law to that effect at the earliest opportunity.

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'Light'em all up!' From video footage from a US Apache helicopter attack on civilians and children in 2007 posted by Wikileaks.

Lies about Assange and UN human rights jurists imperil us all

Jonathan Cook
| 6th February 2016
The defence secretary, 'comedians' on BBC Radio's News Quiz, and the entire media commentariat have ganged up this weekend up to pour mockery and poisonous lies over Julian Assange and the UN's human rights jurists, writes Jonathan Cook. As they attempt to fight off the UN's 'guilty' verdict against the British state, they are putting dissidents at risk everywhere.

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Lonesome George, the last of the pure-bred Pinta Island tortoises, photographed before his death in 2012 at the age of about 100. Photo: putneymark via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Second life for 'extinct' giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands

Luciano Beheregaray
Adalgisa 'Gisella' Caccone
| 14th January 2016
The endemic giant tortoises discovered by Charles Darwin on Floreana and Pinta islands in the Galápagos are extinct, write Luciano Beheregaray & Adalgisa 'Gisella' Caccone. But scientists have found that their genes live on in newly discovered hybrids on other islands. A selective breeding programme now aims to recreate the originals, and return them to their native islands.

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Cofan Indigenous leader Emergildo Criollo smells the petroleum contaminated river hear his home in the Amazon rainforest. Now the water is polluted, crops don't grow, and new illnesses and cancer have been introduced. Photo: Caroline Bennett / Rainforest

Chevron's star witness in $9.5 billion Ecuador oil pollution claim admits: 'I lied'

Paul Paz y Miño
Amazon Watch
| 28th October 2015
It was all going so well for Chevron - a New York court had ruled that a $9.5 billion judgment against it set by Ecuador's supreme court for massive pollution deep in the Amazon was corrupt and fraudulent. But then its star witness broke ranks and admitted, in another court, that he had lied, and the only bribes were coming from Chevron. Will Ecuador's pollution victims finally get justice?

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A banana packing station in Ecuador. Photo: Andrea Guerra via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

How green are your bananas?

Rachel Smith
Sustainable Food Trust
| 10th August 2015
European retailers have imposed 'ethical' certification processes on their banana suppliers, writes Rachel Smith. But reports from Ecuadorian plantations reveal serious weaknesses in the schemes that leave workers poisoned and abused. To get to the truth, inspectors must dig deeper, and make surprise visits.

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Crude oil in an open toxic oil waste pit abandoned by Texaco / Chevron in the Ecuadorean Amazon Rainforest near Lago Agrio. Photo: Caroline Bennett / Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Ecocide in the Amazon - Chevron evades $9.5bn restitution order

Orlan Cazorla
Miriam Gartor
| 17th July 2015
After 20 years of oil spills, deforestation, waste dumping and ill health, farmers and indigenous people in the the Ecuadorian Amazon have been fighting the Chevron-Texaco corporation. But despite its three times conviction and a $9.5 billion damages award to the victims, the oil giant looks no closer to making good its damage.

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Ex-congressman Eduardo Veliz (white hair) leads a protest at San Cristobál airport, Galapagos, against excessive development, prior to his arrest. Photo: El Colono (Galapagos newspaper).

Galápagos rebellion against foreign investment in hotels, golf courses, luxury tourism

Jane Shaw
| 25th June 2015
Residents of Ecuador's Galápagos islands are mounting angry protests against government plans to open the World Heritage Site to foreign investment in luxury tourism and hotels, writes Jane Shaw. They fear for the fragile ecology of the islands, for water shortages caused by golf courses and swimming pools, and for their livelihoods which depend on current 'low intensity' tourism.

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Wood lizard of the Ecuadorian cloud forest, Enyalioides rubrigularis. Photo: Santiago Ron via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Letter from Ecuador - where defending nature and community is a crime

Carlos Zorrilla
| 25th March 2015
Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, has personally attacked eco-defender Carlos Zorrilla in TV broadcasts for resisting a vast new copper mine in a precious area of pristine cloud forest, and opposing the advance of oil exploration into the Amazon. Fearful for his life, Zorilla is now seeking international support for his, and his community's, battle for land, water and the natural world.

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Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Latin American progressives and environmental duplicity

Daniel Macmillen
| 26th October 2014
Left wing governments across the Americas are faced with a dilemma, writes Daniel Macmillen - high social spending programs financed by income from destructive mining and hydrocarbon extraction - or a slower but sustainable development path that puts ecology, equity and justice first. Their answer - a constant pushing back of the resource frontier.

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The author at an oil production site in Ecuador. Photo: David Poritz.

Certified-responsible oil and gas - we need it now!

David Poritz
| 21st October 2014
The oil and gas industry is disrupting communities and damaging ecosystems worldwide, writes David Poritz. Tough, independent social and environmental standards for the industry can bring urgently-needed improvements to company practices - even where government regulation has failed.

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Oil pipeline across Lago Agrio, in Ecuador's Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Your investment in Chevron will never be safe!

Humberto Piaguaje
UDAPT
| 29th May 2014
Humberto Piaguaje traveled from Ecuador's rainforest to Texas to deliver this Open Letter from Texaco's victims to Chevron-Texaco shareholders. Chevron is refusing to pay multi-billion dollar damages awarded to those suffering from its pollution.

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The Mirador mine in the Ecuadorian Amazon would be comparable in scale to the Kennecott open pit copper mine in Utah.

Ecuador - upholding the Rights of Nature

David Dene
| 29th April 2014
Deep in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, a gigantic open pit copper and gold mine is planned in the heart of the Shuar peoples' territory. David Dene tells the story of a growing international campaign to uphold and defend the 'Rights of Nature', in Ecuador and beyond.

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Waterfall in the Srayaku territory in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Photo: skifatenum via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Deep in the Amazon, one tribe is beating big oil

David Goodman
| 30th March 2014
The people of Sarayaku in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest are a leading force in 21st century indigenous resistance, writes David Goodman, resisting the incursion of oil exploration into their lands, winning legal victories, and inspiring other communities to follow their example.

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