More About Sarayaku
As in other parts of the Amazon, the Ecuadorian government imposed oil concession blocks in Sarayaku territory without their permission. They only learned that their land had been opened for oil exploration when the helicopters arrived, followed by the men with guns. But instead of becoming another story of pollution and devastation, the story of Sarayaku has been one of resistance. More
Regardless of who wins, the response to the escalated social conflicts over extractive industry projects, rollback of indigenous rights, and criminalization of civil society protest will be an early and pressing challenge for the incoming administration.
Outgoing President Rafael Correa's mining deals have alienated groups that once supported him. That could cost his heir apparent on Sunday.March 29, 2017Americas Quarterly
Indigenous people make up as much as 30 percent of Ecuador's 16.5 million citizens, and their swing to Lasso could be the deciding factor in the run-off elections.
Nahko has long been connecting his own indigenous roots – he is of Apache descent, as well Puerto Rican, and Filipino and Guam heritage – with indigenous peoples and social movements across North America and beyond wherever the band tours, linking struggles to defend the sacred, protect water, and life.
Nahko visits Ecuador's remote Amazon rainforest to use music and cultural exchange to connect indigenous resistance movements from Mount Shasta to Standing Rock to the AmazonMarch 23, 2017
Nahko, the musician and frontman of Medicine for the People, and his bandmate Patricio Zuñiga Labarca have just returned to the U.S. after a week in Ecuador, where they visited the pristine rainforests of the Ecuadorian Amazon and met with indigenous leaders and communities to hear first hand about local efforts to protect their rights, forests, and cultures, and shared stories and empowerment through music.
Last week thousands of indigenous activists and allies traveled to Washington, DC for the Native Nations Rise march, convened by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and grassroots indigenous leaders. It was an important moment to bring the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline to the doorstep of the White House, stating unequivocally that far from being over, the North America-wide struggle for indigenous self-determination is kicking into an even higher gear.
Ecuador's incoming President must review the oil deals harming the country's economy and ecologyMarch 7, 2017China Dialogue
Meeting contractual loan payments with oil is a major driver behind Ecuador's effort to open up new, pristine Amazon indigenous rainforest territory to oil drilling. All this new drilling has led to massive impacts in the Amazon rainforest that have been dire both for its world-renowned biodiversity and its indigenous peoples.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in deep in the Amazon visiting our indigenous partners the Sápara and the Kichwa of Sarayaku with a small group of Amazon Watch supporters. I am so grateful for this opportunity and want to share some of my reflections with you on why we rise and resist for the Amazon.
Sentimos una tristeza profunda en Amazon Watch al ver el desalojo y la quema de los campamentos solidarios en Standing Rock. Como muchos de ustedes, los habíamos visitado y habíamos rezado, manifestado, y alzado la voz en apoyo a su territorio y su agua.
At Amazon Watch, we felt a profound sadness last Wednesday when the protests camps at Standing Rock were fully evacuated and destroyed. But the Standing Rock struggle, and the movement of indigenous peoples across the continent to defend their land and the environment, is nowhere near over.
The impacts of new drilling in the Amazon rainforest have been dire both for its world-renowned biodiversity and its indigenous peoples, many of whom have long rejected controversial drilling plans on their lands.