Eye on the Amazon: The Official Blog of Amazon Watch

Participate Online in the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, September 20th-23rd

September 20, 2013

Mayalú Txucarramae and Patricia Gualinga

Amazon Watch is honored to be participating in the International Women's Earth & Climate Summit which will take place on September 20th - 23rd in New York. The Summit will bring together 100 global women leaders from 35 countries including grassroots activists, economists, scientists, businesswomen, indigenous leaders, policy-makers, faith leaders, culture shapers to help further a Women's Climate Action Agenda to build momentum for substantive action on meaningful policy changes necessary to address the global climate crisis.

You are encouraged to watch and participate in the Summit from wherever you are. To follow via live stream, go to the IWECI YouTube Channel and join the discussion in the Comments section. Subscribe to the IWECI YouTube Channel while you are there and you'll get all the latest updates of Summit sessions!

Amazon Watch Founder and Executive Director and our special guests from the Amazon, Mayalú Txucarramãe and Patricia Gualinga will join Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary to the UNFCCC; Marina Silva, former Brazilian Minister of Environment; Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; Dr. Jane Goodall, Dame of the British Empire, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and United Nations Messenger of Peace; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams; Dr. Sylvia Earle, marine biologist; May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director; Dr. Vandana Shiva and leaders from Global Gender Climate Alliance, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), 1 Million Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and other grassroots organizations. See a full list of Summit delegates here.

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Welcome, Mayalú!

September 18, 2013

Justice Now!

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

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Amazon Watch is honored to welcome Mayalú Txucarramãe as a special guest at our 8th Annual Luncheon and Celebration in San Francisco on September 25th. She is also our special guest, along with Kichwa indigenous leader from Sarayaku, Patricia Gualinga, at our 2nd Annual DC Fundraiser on September 18th. They will also be joining 100 women from 35 countries in the first International Women's Earth and Climate Summit, September 20th-23rd. You can watch and participate in the Summit proceedings live here.

As Mayalú begins her first U.S. tour, she hopes that her travels will further hone her leadership skills, experience and knowledge that will allow her to be a better advocate for defending Brazil's indigenous peoples while demonstrating the universal importance of assisting their struggle. In doing so she hopes to help forge unity among her supporters to strive together for a better world. Welcome, Mayalú!

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Voices of the Xingu: A Fisherman's Story

September 10, 2013 | Maira Irigaray

Justice Now!

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

TAKE ACTION

Standing amidst the rubble on his land and holding two mangos from a tree in his old backyard, Élio cannot contain the uncontrollable tears of sorrow.

"Here in this hand is the fruit of history. It feels so meaningless to see a monster like this coming and destroying everything so rapidly when I remember how hard I struggled to build my home and community."

Élio Alves da Silva is a fisherman with a sorrowful story spawned by Brazil's skewed development policies and the building of the Belo Monte dam. Though he feels like he has no right to speak out, Élio spoke to me. This is his story:

The community of Santo Antônio, where Élio lived for 32 years, was at km 50 of Altamira, Pará. There Élio built a life in community and in family. Every day, in the morning he fished. At times he would catch up to 132 lbs of fish in one day. While his house was only a 15 minute walk to the bank of the river, it would take him two hours to get there since he'd stop at the homes of neighbors for a chat and a sip of coffee; Things that only those living in community can understand.

"When Norte Energia arrived it changed our entire history. They came and did whatever they wanted. They expropriated [the property of] the 60 families and put an end to our community. They put an end to our dream. All that we had spent 32 years building was destroyed in just one year."

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Judge Allows Chevron Additional Access to Email Usage Information of Activists, Lawyers

September 6, 2013

Judge Allows Chevron Additional Access to Email Usage Information of Activists, Lawyers

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.

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Last week, Magistrate Judge Cousins issued a long awaited decision on the validity of Chevron’s subpoenas issued to Google and Yahoo! in connection with its lawsuit in New York over an $18 billion judgment against the company in Ecuador. The Judge quashed the subpoenas for the majority of ERI and EFF’s clients and narrowed the scope of the subpoenas for the remaining account holders. Although a victory for many of our clients, the decision threatens to set dangerous precedent in the area of First Amendment rights and Internet privacy.

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Damage Control in Ecuador

September 6, 2013 | Adam Zuckerman

Protest over oil exploration in Yasuní National Park

It has been a tumultuous few weeks in Ecuador since President Rafael Correa's decision to terminate the historic Yasuní-ITT initiative, an innovative plan to preserve one of the most biodiverse swaths of rainforest on the planet. His decision to tap the three oil fields that lie beneath the Yasuni National Park has sparked ongoing protests in cities throughout the country, actions in the U.S. and Canada by Ecuadorians living abroad, and powerful condemnations from CONFENAIE, the confederation of indigenous peoples of Ecuador's Amazon, CONAIE, the national indigenous organization, and the communities affected by Chevron's toxic legacy of oil contamination and rights abuses. It continues to dominate national media, garnering headlines, special coverage, and investigative pieces, as well as social media within Ecuador, with the president himself responding by Twitter to his critics.

Supporters seeking to keep the Ishpingo, Tambococha, and Tiputini (ITT) oil fields permanently underground are seeking a national referendum to reverse the president's decision, and are awaiting a decision from the Constitutional Court and the National Election Commission. If approved, they would need some 600,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot for a special election.

The backlash has caught the administration by surprise. It has been more widespread—on the streets and virtually—than they ever imagined. Correa still boasts some of the highest approval ratings of any president in South America, and has presided over the country's longest period of political stability in recent history. But the Yasuní controversy has polarized the country in a way few other issues have since he took power in 2007, and may represent one of the largest threats to his administration and legacy to date.

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