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Ecuador’s Consultation Process for Indigenous Lands Comes Under the Microscope

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has selected two legal cases, involving the Cofán and Waorani Indigenous peoples, as a basis to analyze the country’s process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)

Mongabay | Conflicts with mining companies have become even more serious, says Carlos Mazabanda, Ecuador field coordinator for Amazon Watch, as the state looks to expand its mining sector and relieve some of its dependence on oil. Many communities have been divided by mining companies, while conflicts in the southern province of Morona Santiago have resulted...

Isolated Indigenous Peoples Under Threat of Oil Expansion

New access road under construction intends to go deep into Yasuní National Park's "No Go" Zone

In late October, Ecuador’s right-wing president Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency, citing rising violent crime. But the surprise move also conveniently suspended civil liberties just as civil society was gearing up to protest his economic and policy proposals seeking to implement neoliberal reforms and a business-friendly environment...

Indigenous Peoples Fight for Justice a Year After Devastating Oil Spill

Hundreds of Ecuadorian Indigenous people took to the streets of the Amazonian town of Coca yesterday to demand justice for the ongoing impacts of the country's largest oil spill in recent history. Amazon Watch’s team in Ecuador, alongside coalition partners, has been leading advocacy campaigns and maintaining pressure on the government and big...

Amazonian Indigenous Peoples Demand Justice One Year After Ecuador Oil Spill

Representatives of 109 Indigenous communities marched to the prosecutor's office in the Amazonian province of Orellana

Coca, Ecuador – This morning, hundreds of Indigenous Kichwa people from the Ecuadorian Amazon marched through the city of Coca to mark one year since the country’s largest oil spill in recent history. On April 7, 2020, 672,000 gallons of crude oil and fuel spilled from the country’s two major pipelines, the OCP and SOTE operated by the OCP...

Women Defenders Unite to Protect the Amazon

Across the Amazon Basin, Indigenous women are uniting and organizing in defense of life, rights, and territories while confronting increasing threats. Amazonian women defenders are on the front lines of defense and response to both the climate and COVID-19 emergencies. This is in addition to leading resistance against extractive industries...

Amazon Watch is celebrating 25 years of radical and effective solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the Amazon Basin!


Our Voice Is Our Power

Indigenous women in the Amazon have been at the forefront of the fight against climate change and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and today we are stepping up into new leadership roles, successfully forcing out extractive industries and companies from our sacred territories.

Manufacturing Consent: Ecuador to Draft New Bill on the Consultation of Indigenous Peoples, Without Consulting Them

"We demand that an FPIC law be put forth in harmony with and respect for our peoples and nations and our ways and time frames for discussion, analysis, and decision-making. We are not going to acquiesce to an illegitimate law written from their desks in Quito," said a CONFENIAE statement. "Since this will be a law regarding the collective rights...

Statement on Violence and Deprivation of Freedom Against Forest Defender Salomé Aranda

As the network of Amazonian Women, we express our total rejection of violence and deprivation of liberty that Salomé Aranda – our sister, leader, and defender of the Amazon rainforest – is suffering. We demand her immediate release and that a transparent investigation be carried out on the situation of systematic violence that our sister has...

APIB Denounces Bolsonaro's Attacks and Misinformation

The Brazilian president delivered a series lies and denials about the state of the Amazon in speeches to the United Nations and Federal Supreme Court

While the government abuses its power to launch defamation campaigns on everyday citizens, APIB has taken matters into their own hands to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous peoples and communities. More than 800 Indigenous people have died, and about 32,000 have been infected by COVID-19, according to data from APIB's National Committee...

Oil Companies Seek to End Clean-up of Amazon Oil Spill Despite Ongoing Pollution

Affected Indigenous communities in Ecuador’s Amazon demand justice and share evidence that pollutants remain in two major rivers after the worst oil spill in the last 15 years

Quito, Ecuador – Ecuador's two oil pipeline operators prematurely halted clean-up operations last week, declaring the remediation complete despite evidence of ongoing pollution in both the Coca and Napo rivers. The companies are now seeking to close the door on the country's worst spill in the last 15 years by convening public meetings with...

Delayed Justice, Again

The Kichwa of Ecuador vow to appeal lawsuit over worst oil spill in the last fifteen years

"Today's ruling shows that the Ecuadorian justice system has once again put the interests of oil companies above the rights of Indigenous peoples and nature. The evidence of contamination and the impact on the lives of the Kichwa populations of the Coca and Napo rivers was overwhelming during the hearing. However, the judge, without law or logic...

COVID, Crude, and Climate: Crisis and Opportunity in the Ecuadorian Amazon

"In this time of multiple crises, we are invisible, yet again. But they're planning to open up our territories the second this is over. And we won't let that happen."

Ecuador is grappling with a trifecta of tragedy never before seen despite its tumultuous history. The country not only has one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the world, but it is also facing a pipeline rupture that has contaminated Amazon rivers and historic flooding that has devastated local communities and left hundreds of families...

Amazonian Women Mobilize to Demand Justice and Support for Earth Defenders

The Amazonian women joined the march with the goal of amplifying their voices of resistance against extractivism

Over 100 Amazonian women, representing multiple Indigenous nations across Ecuador, came together to march for the dignity of their peoples, to reclaim their songs and wisdom, to re-ignite their fight against extractivism, and to address social inequality and the rampant impunity for those who attack defenders of nature.

Thousands in the Ecuadorian Amazon in Urgent Need After Extreme Floods

"This has everything to do with climate change."

As Indigenous peoples prepare for COVID-19, historic storms in the Ecuadorian Amazon have caused rivers to rise and have flooded communities including Sarayaku, Pacayaku, and Teresa Mama on the Bobonaza River. This has led to the collapse of bridges and destruction of homes, schools, and gardens to grow food and medicine.

COP25: Amazonian Indigenous Leaders Share Conclusions on the Summit

Hearing a contradiction between what is being said and what is being done, indigenous leaders call for global support to stop new oil drilling, mining exploration, and deforestation in the Amazon Sacred Headwaters

Madrid, Spain – Indigenous leaders representing twenty nationalities from Ecuador and Peru called for global support to stop oil drilling and mining in the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region – the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystem on the planet.

Indigenous Leaders Call for Global Support to Stop New Oil Drilling and Mining in the Heart of the Amazon at COP 25

Madrid, Spain – Indigenous leaders representing 20 nationalities from Ecuador and Peru called for global support to stop oil drilling and mining in the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region – the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. A new report released today demonstrates that this is more than a regional issue: this is a global crisis...

Indigenous Peoples Call for Urgent Action to Protect the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Region

Amazon rainforest and Indigenous rights under imminent threat from oil and mining

Lima, Peru – On the heels of widespread indigenous protests in Ecuador, and at the Latin American Parks Congress, the Indigenous federations that are part of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative called for emergency support to stop the governments of Ecuador and Peru from expanding new fossil fuel, mining, and large-scale industrial development...

Declaration for the Protection of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters

We, the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador and Peru together with our allies, call on the global community for solidarity, as our very survival depends on the survival of the Amazon rainforest which is under constant and unprecedented attack.

Power to the Protectors in Ecuador

Kichwa Communities Fight Fossil Fuel Expansion with Renewable Energy

This spring, we carried out the second install of our Power to the Protectors program in three Kichwa communities in the central Ecuadorian Amazon, all threatened by new oil expansion. The equipment and training provided will be essential tools to support the communities’ ability to monitor their territory, denounce rights violations, and share...

Amazonians Rising Up and Winning Against Oil!

"The government tried to sell our lands to the oil companies without our permission. Our rainforest is our life. We decide what happens in our lands. We will never sell our rainforest to the oil companies."

Statement Regarding Decision to Delay Licensing of Ecuadorian Oil Blocks 86 and 87

"The decision to put a hold on auctioning blocks 86 and 87 shows that the advocacy made by Shiwiar, Sapara, and Kichwa indigenous peoples to protect their territories, that are part of the best preserved tropical forests in the country, has been successful. While we celebrate this victory, we know that the next step must not be further...

Respect Rights and Traditional Knowledge to Protect Mother Earth

Once a year, the United Nations Headquarters in New York welcomes hundreds of indigenous leaders and representatives from around the world for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Amazon Watch spent the week accompanying and amplifying the voices and solutions of Amazonian leaders from Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil.

Indigenous Groups in Ecuador Convene to Talk Resistance in the Amazon

"The Shiwiar, Sapara and Kichwa nationalities of Kawsak Sacha decide to leave the oil in the subsoil and declare their territories intangible in perpetuity, where it is forbidden to extract non-renewable natural resources. The governments in turn must respect this decision."

Defending Rights, Building Unity, and Protecting the Amazon Sacred Headwaters

In the remote, roadless rainforest territories along the border between Ecuador and Peru, over a dozen indigenous nationalities have launched an initiative to permanently protect about 60 million acres from industrial extraction and stop the drivers of deforestation. Dubbed the Amazon Sacred Headwaters, the initiative seeks to present a united...

Ecuador’s Corruption Hangover

Despite efforts to curb corruption, President Moreno is following the same oil-stained playbook that helped get Ecuador into a cycle of debt and dependency. He has green-lighted new drilling in Yasuní National Park and plans to open up areas in the country's roadless southern rainforest, still hoping that Ecuador can drill its way to prosperity.

Good News for Yasuní Park and Indigenous Rights!

Last week, Ecuador's Energy Minister, Carlos Pérez García, announced that – at least for now – the government will not pursue oil drilling in the "buffer zone" protected areas of Yasuní National Park, reversing plans revealed last month in a leaked draft decree. This is an important victory for our collective work to keep fossil fuels...

Portraits: Women Defenders of the Amazon

For decades, oil companies have taken advantage of the resource-rich land of the western Amazon, violating the basic human rights of the indigenous people while simultaneously inflicting harm and destroying the beautiful rainforest. Indigenous communities have responded with powerful messages, defending their land at all costs. At the forefront of...

Ecuador Walks Back Oil Drilling Plans in Amazon Rainforest

"Minister Pérez' announcement sends a clear message: civil society pressure to defend rights and ecosystems works, and expanding the fossil fuel frontier deeper into Ecuador's Amazon presents risks to companies and problems for the state. This is an important victory for our collective work to keep fossil fuels in the ground from California to the...

Ecuador’s Yasuní Bait and Switch

While Ecuadorian government officials were busy touting the country's advances to reduce emissions at COP 24 in Poland, activists gathered outside the country's Environment Ministry to protest government plans to greatly expand oil drilling in its remote Amazon rainforest and indigenous lands. These are fossil fuels the planet can ill afford to...