More About Sápara
"The government can't call us hypocrites for opposing oil extraction yet using dirty diesel generators. We've made the first big step towards being fossil fuel-free – the government should learn from us."
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.
Throughout these years of peaceful resistance and advocating for the Amazon, I have grown to understand that a great way to fight against exploitative oil, gas, and mining development is to support community-based economic initiatives.
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.
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.
Developed jointly by the pair after experiencing first-hand the pressures faced by indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon during 2015, the project was launched with the primary aim of raising international awareness of some of the key threats currently faced by the Sápara and Kichwa communities of Ecuador, specifically their long-running struggle to resist the imminent entry of oil companies onto their territory and efforts to preserve their culture in the face of globalization.
Last Wednesday Amazon Watch received a very disturbing call: the headquarters of CONFENIAE, the regional organization of eleven indigenous peoples which represents nearly 1,500 communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, was being taken by storm.
The Sioux fight is representative of other fights around the globe. If Standing Rock wins this, we will win other fights for social and environmental justice. We all need to work together to build this global justice movement around the globe.