Eye on the Amazon: The Official Blog of Amazon Watch

Indigenous Leaders Say: Consultation Is Not "Nonsense"

November 7, 2013 | Adam Zuckerman

The Ecuadorian Delegation and the IACHR Commissioners. Note the absence of the Ecuadorian government.

Last week a delegation of indigenous leaders traveled from the Ecuadorian Amazon to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, DC to help advise the Ecuadorian government on how to properly consult indigenous peoples about projects that affect their territory and their way of life.

Unfortunately, the government announced at the last moment that it would not be attending the hearing and Ecuador's President Correa tweeted that the indigenous leaders' claims were "nonsense," part of a larger trend in which Ecuador has threatened to leave the human rights body.

However, for indigenous leaders defending the Amazon, the government's failure to properly consult them is anything but "nonsense." The leaders were particularly concerned about the 11th Round, the government's attempt to auction off the oil rights of eight million acres of Ecuador's still-pristine southeastern Amazon. The region is Ecuador's last remaining tract of virgin rainforest and is home to seven indigenous nationalities: the Achuar, Shuar, Kichwa, Zápara, Waorani, Shiwiar and Andoa. The indigenous nationalities have mobilized against the round, and have issued multiple declarations of opposition.

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You Get What You Pay for (Perjury, in This Case)

October 31, 2013 | Paul Paz y Miño

You Get What You Pay for (Perjury, in This Case)

It's Time to Fire Chevron's CEO!

Tell the Chevron board of directors to fire CEO John Watson. Since he took over, the company's bad behavior has only gotten worse.


Having virtually all the money in the world often means you can buy silence, you can buy time, and you can buy lies. Chevron has demonstrated this time and again in its decades-long battle to evade accountability for deliberately dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The problem is that this time what Chevron has bought is a bag of lies in the form of false testimony from a thoroughly disreputable source, and they aren't able to hide the price tag. In the ongoing saga of Chevron's scorched earth legal strategy, last week disgraced former judge Alberto Guerra testified in support of the company's most explosive allegations – that the judgment against Chevron was ghostwritten by the plaintiffs and that his efforts to seek bribes were partly on behalf of Judge Nicolas Zambrano, who issued the historic $19 billion final judgment in the Ecuadorian environmental litigation.

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Servio Curipoma: Holding Chevron Accountable

October 30, 2013 | Caroline Bennett

Support the Fight!

Contribute today to support Servio and the fight for justice and to hold Chevron accountable.


"My mother died from your cancer. You killed my mother." His voice didn't waver as he fought back bitter tears standing face-to-face with Chevron CEO John Watson, somehow all the while maintaining a tenacity and grace rarely seen.

Meet Servio Curipoma, a cacao farmer from the oil-ravaged town of San Carlos, Ecuador. I'll never forget when I met him. From the banks of a slickened black pit on his property that skirts the thick jungle, he humbly shared with me his story.

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Update! Belo Monte Dam Construction Suspended Again

October 29, 2013

Update! Belo Monte Dam Construction Suspended Again

Translated and adapted by Amazon Watch from a post by ISA Social-Environmental Institute

Justice Now!

Join the worldwide chorus calling for justice by urging Brazil's Supreme Court to rule on lawsuits against the Belo Monte Dam!


Last week the Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region (TRF-1) accepted a request made by public prosecutors of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and suspended the installation license (LI- Licença de Instalação) which had authorized the start of construction sites of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam in 2011.

The Court also ruled that BNDES (Brazilian National Development Bank) should not transfer further resources to Norte Energia, the company responsible for construction of the dam complex, before the 40 conditions of the preliminary license (LP-Licença Prévia) are met. The ruling was made by appeals court Judge Souza Prudente and will need to be confirmed by collegial decision of the court.

The 40 conditions of the preliminary license address the actions established by Brazil's Environmental Agency (IBAMA) so that the nearby cities of the region where Belo Monte is being built will be prepared to face the impacts of construction. To initiate them, Norte Energia and the government would have to fulfill a number of conditions, several of them complex, such as the removal of non-indigenous occupants from the indigenous lands in the region, and the installation of an infrastructure for health, education and security in the cities which would be receiving the approximately 100,000 migrants anticipated in the impact studies for the construction.

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Canada’s Gran Tierra: Didn’t You Know Oil Doesn’t Mix with Water?

October 28, 2013 | Andrew Miller, Amazon Watch and Stefan Kistler, Alianza Arkana

Women's Mobilization for Life

Say NO to Oil in the Amazon!

Join the call for a to halt Gran Tierra's plans and a moratorium on oil activity in one of Peru's most biodiverse regions.


As Peru continues to push an expansion of oil activities in the Amazon, there's a new Canadian oil company with grand ambitions. Calgary-based Gran Tierra ("Great Earth") recently burst onto the scene, gobbling up strategic oil reserves in the northern Peruvian Amazon. But these blocks have been steeped in controversy, forcing oil majors like ConocoPhillips to pack up and leave. Does Gran Tierra not understand the risks they are running, or do they believe they are somehow immune? Whether naïve or just arrogant, they are in for a rude shock.

Oil in the Peruvian Amazon – A snapshot history

Peru's northern jungle province of Loreto has been source to most of the country's oil extraction. Of this, the lion's share originated in blocks 1AB and 8. Occidental Petroleum pumped from the early 1970's on, polluting the streams, forests, and people. Since 2000, Pluspetrol assumed these operations, only starting to re-inject poisonous 'formation waters' in 2007 following crippling indigenous protests. Their aging pipeline infrastructure continues to spring dozens of spills annually. In recent months, local indigenous communities have forced the Peruvian government to declare large swaths of the rainforest as 'environmental emergency zones'.

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