Join Us for a Historic Week of Public Events
with Amazonian Indigenous Leaders from Sarayaku, Ecuador

Sarayaku Indigenous leaders

Amazon Watch is honored and excited to invite you to a series of events featuring our indigenous allies and leaders from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon who will be in the Bay Area from October 15-21, 2012 to share news about their major victory for indigenous self-determination in the face of egregious industrial development threats. Our friends and leaders are:

  • Marlon Santi is a historic leader of Sarayaku, and Ecuador's indigenous movement. He was instrumental in the Sarayaku's resistance to oil drilling plans, and led the organization of peace camps that monitored and ultimately kicked out the oil company. The Saryaku v. Ecuador case was brought to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission under his tenure as Sarayaku President. He most recently led Ecuador's national indigenous conferedation CONAIE – one of the post powerful indigenous movements in South America, having overthrown several governments through popular uprising, and de-railed several free trade agreements. Under Santi's leadership, CONAIE beat back several repressive government policies on water and education. Santi has been persecuted for his leadership, and still faces several trumped up charges for leading non-violent protests against the government. Santi has been a vocal advocate for indigenous rights in the UNFCCC climate negotiations at COP 15 and 16 in Copenhagen, and Cancun respectively. 
  • Tupak Amaru Viteri Gualinga is the young Vice President of the Sarayaku federation. Named for the last monarch of the Incan Empire, he comes from a long familial line of leaders steeped in Sarayaku's struggle to defend their culture and territory. He has traveled to Europe and Costa Rica in representation of Sarayaku. Together with President Jose Gualinga, he is working to force the Ecuadorian government to comply with the favorable decision from the Inter-American Human Rights Court and defend Sarayaku lands from new oil extraction.
  • Nina Sicha Siren Gualinga is a young woman leader from Sarayaku. She represented the Sarayaku youth at the final hearing before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica, as well as international events, and a recent press conference on the historic court victory with Amnesty International in London. Nina splits her time between Sweden and Sarayaku, and is currently working with Sarayaku youth on leadership development skills. She will return to Sweden next year to continue studying. She is 19 years old.


12-1:30 pm:
Amazon Watch's 7th Annual Luncheon and Celebration
at the Julia Morgan Ballroom

HONORING our indigenous partners and supporters

SHARING our ongoing initiatives in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru

CELEBRATING this year’s achievements for the people and the rainforests of the Amazon

Tupak Amaru Viteri Gualinga, community Vice President; Marlon Santi, former CONAIE President from Sarayaku; and Nina Sicha Gualinga, Sarayaku youth leader, will share their inspiring story

RSVP online here or call 415-487-9600.

You can also watch the Amazon Watch Annual Luncheon LIVE online at

More information on this event here.


12:00 – 1:30 pm:
Brown Bag Lunch for NGOs and Allies
Co-hosted by Amazon Watch and the Pachamama Alliance

The Sarayaku leaders are in the Bay Area for a series of events highlighting news on their recent legal victory in the Inter-American Human Rights Court of the Organization of American States and discuss concerns about the Ecuadorian government's new oil drilling proposals in the Amazon. They will share how we can support them in defeating the 11th oil round auction of the rainforest and permanently protect the southern Ecuadorian and northern Peruvian Amazon.

Pachamama Alliance Conference Room at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability
The Presidio
1009 General Kennedy Road
San Francisco

Please RSVP to or call 510-610-8581.

6:30 – 9:30 pm:
Indigenous Peoples Confront False Climate Solutions
Presented by Friends of the Earth and Indigenous Environmental Network
Co-hosted by Amazon Watch, Abya Yala Nexus, GAIA, Global Exchange, IDEX and RAN.

Hear from Indigenous leaders working to protect community land rights and promote equitable, rights-based climate solutions that respect traditional knowledge and the principles of environmental justice.

6:30 – Light refreshments and networking
7:00 – Screening of A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests
7:30-9:00 – Presentations from Indigenous leaders from US, Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador

Sliding scale donations requested - no one turned away for lack of funds


The David Brower Center
Tamalpais Room
2150 Allston Way Berkeley

More information here.


11:30 - 1:00 pm:
Brown-Bag and Legal Briefing
Presented by Amazon Watch and co-hosted by International Accountability Project

This event will highlight the July 2012 landmark decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights which found that Ecuador violated the rights of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku for oil exploration on their territories without their consent. The decision outlines the most detailed binding language regarding the parameters of the consultation process to date, and will serve as the new standard for the consultation of indigenous peoples.

Please join us to hear about this precedent-setting victory and how it can be used to fight the pending 11th round of oil concessions scheduled to take place this year, which would open up close to 10 million acres of primary forest and indigenous land, including all of the Sarayaku territory.

Earth Justice office - Bay Conference room
50 California Street, Suite 500
San Francisco
(Close to the Embarcadero BART station in downtown SF. Visitors should go to the 5th floor and sign in with reception.)

Please RSVP to or call 510-610-8581.

7:00 – 8:30 pm
Children of the Jaguar Film Screening and Discussion
Presented by Amazon Watch and co-hosted by Amnesty International

Join us for the SF premiere of Children of the Jaguar, a documentary film co-produced by indigenous leader Eriberto Gualinga and Amnesty International that recently won "Best Documentary" in the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival.

The film features the courageous struggle of the Sarayaku indigenous community in Ecuador to defend their territories and human rights from oil exploration. Sarayaku leaders will be present for a post-film discussion to celebrate their precedent-setting legal victory in the Inter-American Human Rights Court and share how people can join them to protect the Amazon from the pending 11th bidding round of oil concessions.

For a preview of the film, check out the trailer here.

518 Valencia St.
San Francisco
(Near 16th St. BART)

The event is free and wheelchair-accessible.

For more information, contact or call 510-610-8581.


Amazon Watch and Sarayaku leaders will be presenting at the BIONEERS ANNUAL CONFERENCE at the San Rafael Marin Center. Visit the Amazon Watch booth at Bioneers, right by registration and Tent of Inspiration.

Here are some presentations we recommend:

Friday, October 19th

Sarayaku leader(s) join Kenny Ausubel on main stage during morning plenary

1:15 – 2:30 pm
Film Screening and Presentation in Indigenous Forum Tent
A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests, 30 min.
Focus: California AB32 International Offsets in Chiapas, Mexico
Presentation of Film: Jeff Conant, San Francisco


  • Berenice Sanchez Lozada, Nahua from Mexico, founding member of the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Against REDD and For Life and participant in UN climate negotiations and the recent Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil
  • Rosario Aguilar, Tsunel Bej, Chiapas, Mexico, social anthropologist and health promoter and works with communities in the Lacandon Jungle

Saturday, October 20th

11:05 am
Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch Founder and Executive Director, introduces celebrated environmental leader, Marina Silva from Brazil on the main stage during morning plenary, The Challenge of Sustainable Development.

1:15 – 2:30 pm
Indigenous Forum Tent
Commodification of the Sacred: Carbon Offsets, REDD + Indigenous Peoples and Genocide
Moderator: Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Minnesota


  • Marlon Santi, historic leader of the Sarayaku and Ecuador's indigenous movement. He was instrumental in Sarayaku's resistance to oil drilling plans, and led the organization of peace camps that monitored and ultimately kicked out the oil company. He most recently led Ecuador's national indigenous confederation CONAIE - one of the post powerful indigenous movements in South America. Santi has been a vocal advocate for indigenous rights in the UN climate negotiations
  • Gloria Ushigua, Zápara from Ecuador, leader of indigenous women's movement and fought the invasion of her territory by oil companies and now by REDD-style government programs
  • José Carmelio Alberto Nunes, Ninawá, President of the Federation of the Huni Kui people of Acre, Brazil. A young indigenous leader vocal on community-based forestry solutions and territorial sovereignty

2:45 - 4:15 pm
Atossa hosts/moderates panel with Marina Silva, Kris Thompkins and John Liu
Conservation, Restoration, Biodiversity and Innovative Philanthropy

4:30 - 6 pm
Panel discussion featuring Sarayaku leaders, Amazon Watch and Pachamama Alliance. 
Protecting the Amazon and Its People

Sunday, October 21st

4:30 - 6 pm:
Sarayaku leaders join discussion with indigenous leaders from the north, including Tom B.K. Goldtooth (Dinè/Dakota), Executive Director, IEN. More information to come.

More information on the Bioneers Annual Conference is available here.


Yes, I will donate to protect the Amazon!

"The work you do is vital, and I am happy to support it."
– Charlotte R. A.