The Achuar and Shuar of Ecuador

In southeast Ecuador reaching to the border with Peru lies hundreds of thousands of acres of road-less rainforest belonging to the Achuar and Shuar, two indigenous groups that have also fought off industrial-scale, natural resource extraction and threats to their lands and way of life. These peoples were historically fierce enemies, waging battles over territory, resources, and culture traditions. Numbering some 6,000 and 40,000 respectively, the Achuar and Shuar have now united around the collective threat of oil extraction.

Using physical protests, marches, legal actions, and an international pressure campaign, the Shuar and Achuar were able to keep several oil companies from drilling on their lands, and derail the government's plan to launch a bidding round for a dozen new oil blocks on their lands. But now, after a period of relative silence from the government and ConocoPhillips, it appears the company is seeking to get out and the government is setting the stage to re-offer the block as part of the new bidding round.

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