Sarayaku Delegation in Costa Rica

Amazon Watch counterparts from Sarayaku (Kichwa people from the Ecuadorian Amazon) were in Costa Rica over the week of July 4th bringing their government before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. For eight years they have brought documentation of human rights violations before the Organization of American States, with the goal of the Ecuadorian government admitting to past rights violations and offering guarantees that the same never happen again. Sarayaku's complaints include oil companies entering their territory without consultation, arrests and torture when they resisted oil exploration, and a long-running campaign to demonize the 1,200 residents of Sarayaku as anti-development terrorists.

On July 6th, 2011, hundreds of miles from home, eighteen members of Sarayaku arrived at the Court with a powerful ceremony designed to bring the spiritual power of their homeland. Thereafter the delegation, led by Sarayaku President José Gualinga entered the court room, waiting for the entry of the judges.

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