Taking Ecuador to Human Rights Court

In part with the assistance of Amazon Watch, the leadership of Sarayaku has over the years strengthened its communication and media capacities in the use of videos, editing, and production of documentaries. This video was created by Eriberto Gualinga, explaining the Kichwa trip to the Inter-American Human Rights Court in their own words.

Over the week of July 4th, Amazon Watch is in San José, Costa Rica accompanying long-time counterparts, the Kichwa communities from Sarayaku in Ecuador. For more than a decade they have campaigned to force the Ecuadorian government to recognize rights violations perpetrated against the community associated with oil exploration.

It has been an epic struggle, with 1200 people effectively staring down successive governments. Sarayaku is an inspiration for many other indigenous peoples facing extractive industries and associated violations of their collective and individual rights. Over the course of eight years they have pushed their case through the Inter-American System, culminating with this hearing and a likely finding that their rights were indeed violated. A judgment against Ecuador would help prevent further oil incursions into Sarayaku's territory and bolster similar resistance movements around the Latin American region.

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