Joint Declaration from CONAIE and CONFENIAE on the Recent Events in Nankints, Morona Santiago
- December 14, 2016
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Andrés Tapia: firstname.lastname@example.org
When the conflict in Shuar territory in #Nankints begun, the National Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE) alerted that militarization would lead to violence. On November 22nd, we asked the Interior and Defense Ministries, the Joint Command of the Armed Forces and the Human Rights Ombudsman for an end to the violence and militarization in order to protect the lives of all those involved and build a solution to the conflict based on dialogue. The State did not listen.
The fact that the violence in Nankints has escalated, as a result of the invasion of indigenous territories by a Chinese company, is the responsibility of the government, which has not had the desire to listen, dialogue, and resolve conflicts. We lament the loss of human lives due to the government's insistence on continuing the extraction of natural resources while stepping all over the constitutional rights of indigenous Ecuadorian citizens and on sending police and the military to protect the private interests of multinational companies. It is a conflict created and deepened by the government given that it did not conduct prior consultation [with the communities], it unconstitutionally militarized indigenous territories, and it did not listen to the proposals for a negotiated solution presented by the organizations and actors directly involved in the conflict.
We insist that until this August, the Nankints Community was engaging in dialogues with various governmental institutions in order to reach an agreement and carry out a free, prior and informed consultation process in accordance with the law, dialogues that were interrupted by the violent eviction of Shuar families by the security forces and the invasion of their territory by the Chinese company Explocobres SA (EXSA).
As a "solution", the government has declared a State of Emergency in the Morona Santiago province, further exacerbating the tension in the region. It underscores the vulnerability of the rights of the communities who are resisting the eviction, and the intention of the government to move forward with a military offensive. It [also] sets the stage for a massive process of criminal persecution of the right to protest and endangers the guarantee of the constitutional rights of the communities of Morona Santiago.
We reiterate our request to national and international human rights organizations to collaborate in protecting the rights, life and integrity of the Shuar community and of all [people] involved in this situation, and we call for the solidarity of the people to demand the demilitarization and a cease of the violent actions that benefit the Chinese companies.
CONAIE and CONFENIAE Governing Councils