Statement of Amazonian Indigenous Women in Defense of Life, Territory, and "Good Living" (Buen Vivir)

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In the city of Puyo, we, Amazonian indigenous women, representatives of the Sapara and Shiwiar Nationalities, the Kichwa Kawsak Sacha and Sarayaku Peoples, and the communities of the Bobonaza Basin, want to express our deep concern with the contract of exploitation and exploration signed by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons with the company Andes Petroleum for Blocks 79 and 83 that directly affect the Sapara, Kichwa, Shiwiar, and Sarayaku territories.

We reject the signing of this contract which will affect our territories, the forest, the water, and the air; exactly how we have seen it occur in Block 10 in the Province of Pastaza. This is where serious social and environmental impacts have been generated, where women are the main victims and their ability to feed their families becomes impaired. There is deterioration of family health, and they suffer the division of their communities and other forms of violence.

This government policy has infringed on our rights since we have not been adequately consulted. We as women have not been considered and we have not participated in those government informational meetings. Plus, the consultations were not carried out as mandated by the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in the 2012 case Sarayaku v. Ecuador.

Blocks 79 and 83 affect more than 40% of the Sapara Nationality's territory which was recognized by UNESCO as a "Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" on May 18, 2001 because their language and culture are in danger of disappearing. This threat is increased with the development of an oil project in these territories.

Therefore, we reject this oil policy of the government and the possibility of further oil concessions in the southern Amazon. We denounce that deceptive mechanisms have been used to obtain signatures of community members in order to justify supposed prior consultation processes. We stand firm in the defense of our territories, for the defense of life and the good living of our families and communities.

Attentively,

Nancy Santi
President of the Association of Kawsak Sacha Women

Gloria Ushigua
President of the Association of Sapara Women

Zoila Castillo
Territory Leader, Bobonaza Basin

Hilda Santi
Leader, Kichwa People of Sarayaku

Patricia Gualinga
Leader of International Relations, Kichwa People of Sarayaku

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