Company upset over short film that uses Pablo Neruda's famous poem on how US corporations treated Latin American countries as empty "banana republics"June 17, 2015The Guardian
The US oil giant Chevron has attacked the British makers of a short art-house documentary film about oil pollution in the Ecuadorean Amazon featuring the actor Julie Christie reading a Pablo Neruda poem.
Federal prosecutors say Norte Energia, the consortium building the $11bn dam, has violated agreed-to items that are endangering locals’ means of survivalJune 16, 2015Associated Press
Construction of a massive hydroelectric dam is endangering the livelihoods of at least 2,000 families in Brazil’s Amazon jungle state of Para, according to federal prosecutors who recommend that efforts to move the residents be suspended.
For more than two decades, impoverished indigenous people have been seeking restitution from the oil giant for polluting their region.June 2, 2015The Nation
The American public is largely uninformed about this epic struggle, even though it's as important as the dispute over the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The mainstream US media, when it hasn't ignored the case, has often taken Chevron's side, implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) endorsing the company's view that an alliance of Ecuadoran extortionists and crooked US lawyers is using the corrupt Ecuadoran court system to shake down an innocent corporation. On closer inspection, the truth is totally different.
As Amazon Watch's Paul Paz y Miño's put the matter, "Chevron deliberately caused a lifetime of suffering and death by polluting the Ecuadorian Amazon to increase its already high profits to obscene levels. Chevron has also inflicted years of abusive lawsuits designed to leave affected communities defenseless and has tried to win by might what it could never win by merit." It is past time for justice for all those harmed by Chevron's greed and irresponsibility.
Amazon tribe would rather die than see their land destroyed by a new damMay 26, 2015Al Jazeera America
Environmental activists hope that São Luiz do Tapajós will not follow the same course as the Belo Monte, the Xingu River dam that is now nearly complete. Some tribal leaders opposed to that dam were bought off by the government, according to Maíra Irigaray, the Brazil coordinator of the group Amazon Watch. She fears similar tactics will be used here. "Leaders were paid off with boats, cars, cash and bodyguards," she said. "If the leaders took the money, the government won. If the leaders didn’t take the money, [contractors and others involved in dam construction] would spread lies and still manage to break their trust with the community."
Over 20 hydroelectric projects proposed for the main trunk of the River Maranon would have devastating impactsMay 26, 2015Al Jazeera America
“We live along the banks of the river,” Madolfo Perez Chumpi, president of the Organization for the Economic Development of Awajun Communities on the Marañón (ODECAM), told me. “Where are we going to plant our manioc? Our plantains? Our maize? Where will we find the fish that swim upriver? This is scary for us, for our children. For the government and the companies this is development, but it’s not [development] for us.”
"As with road projects, railways open access to previously remote regions, bringing a flow of migrant workers inevitably followed by deforestation mafias and cattle ranchers, creating a perfect storm of pressures upon the forest and forest peoples," said Christian Poirier, Brazil-Europe Advocacy Director of Amazon Watch.
Chinese premier’s visit to Latin America raises concerns about the impacts of mining, oil, agriculture and infrastructure projectsMay 19, 2015The Guardian
"We don't accept, and we will not accept, the exploitation of oil in our territories because our vision of the world, our ideas about development, has no place for it," said Manari Ushiga, an indigenous Sapara leader from the Amazon in Ecuador. "It would be better if the Chinese company gave up on these lots. We are not going to accept the end of our lives and the end of the Sapara nation's history and world."
"This proposed bill ignores the international commitments made by Brazil to guarantee the rights to participation of indigenous populations in the decision-making process related to the exploitation of the natural resources on the areas they traditionally occupy," said Maira Irigaray, Brazil coordinator for Amazon Watch. "In this sense, this bill is another attempt at diminishing these rights, and reinforcing the predatory exploitation model in Brazil."
The Munduruku, Apiaká, Kayabi and Rikbaktsa release joint statement as Brazil steps ups efforts to exploit power of the riversApril 30, 2015The Guardian
Four Amazonian tribes have joined forces to oppose the construction of hydroelectric dams in their territory as the Brazilian government ramps up efforts to exploit the power of rivers in the world's biggest forest.