"The government couldn't take the risk of having the issue reach the referendum [stage], which it could have lost," says Juan Carlos Donoso, a political scientist. Plenty of activists are furious about being thwarted. The question now is whether they can keep the issue in the public eye.
"Perhaps our only crime was to carry the voice of the people"May 2, 2014AIDESEP
I'd just say to the indigenous peoples and my indigenous brothers who are being tried for these regrettable events that they should stay firm in continuing to lift up the voice of indigenous peoples.
Anger and frustration boiled over outside Ecuador's National Electoral Commission (CNE), as efforts by environmental activists to prevent oil development in the Yasuní National Park appeared to founder on the decisions of the bureaucrats inside. "The CNE is so transparent that it won't even let us see the names of the persons or their badges."
Civil society groups say enough signatures have been gathered to force a referendum but authorities are interferingApril 30, 2014The Guardian
Kevin Koenig, Ecuador programme director of Amazon Watch, said: "It is extremely troubling to see these kinds of irregularities so soon into the verification process. It calls into question whether the CNE can indeed be objective and non-partisan. The eyes of the world are watching – this is a critical moment for Ecuador's democracy and the credibility of Correa's administration."
How to stop 7,200 megawatts of power with the force of lawApril 30, 2014The Atlantic
Ruth Buendía Mestoquiari has built her career, and staked the fate of her people, on the law. But she doesn't have a law degree. In fact, she didn't even start elementary school until she was a teenager and didn't finish high school until age 25.
Shutdown of Pipeline Has Cost the Government Over $130 MillionApril 25, 2014Wall Street Journal
"The proposals they offered weren't close to what we were demanding," said Ms. Tegria, who said the tribe is preparing a formal statement for later Friday. "We will continue to not authorize the repair of the oil pipe."
U'wa Refuse to Allow Ecopetrol, Occidential to Repair Pipeline Damaged by RebelsApril 24, 2014Wall Street Journal
"The government (Ecopetrol) wanted to do what they always do after the rebels attack, they wanted to fix the pipeline and then maybe later clean up some of the spilled oil," said Aura Tegria, an U'wa spokeswoman. "Well, it's not going to happen that way anymore, and that's why we're not allowing in the repairmen."
Why Brazil is the most dangerous place in the world to be a tree-huggerApril 23, 2014Foreign Policy
Between 2002 and 2013, at least 908 people were killed because of their environmental advocacy. That's an average of at least one environmentalist murdered every week, and in the last four years, the rate of the murders has doubled.
Report reveals rising number of environment and land rights activists being killed worldwideApril 22, 2014The Guardian
What now happens twice a week to "ordinary people" around the world trying to protect the environment and rights to land? They get killed.
"We are tired of the explosions on the pipeline that have ruined our ancestral lands, polluted our water and put our people in danger. We want it relocated," said Heber Tegria Uncaria, vice president and spokesman for the U'wa Association.