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Crude Reality: One U.S. State Consumes Half the Oil from the Amazon Rainforest

As oil companies carve up more of the rainforest, a new study says no place in the world uses more oil from beneath the Amazon than California

NBC News | Waorani leader Nemo Guiquita has been fighting the expansion of oil drilling in her tribe’s ancestral homeland for years. She said her grandmother, Nayuma, was the first Waorani to make contact with the outside world 60 years ago. “The rainforest for us is home,” Guiquita said. “It’s our life, our pharmacy, our everything.”

Will Iván Duque Protect Environmental Defenders?

The New York Times | At COP26, President Duque of Colombia attempted to convince the world he is an environmental champion. But back in Colombia, armed gangs are threatening and murdering community leaders and environmental activists who have been trying to protect forests from destruction by mining, lumber and oil companies.

The Real Reason Behind Bolsonaro’s Climate Promises

Without proper enforcement mechanisms, nationalist leaders will continue to drive climate change with impunity

The Atlantic | So far, Bolsonaro’s actions have spoken louder than any of the Brazilian delegation’s words. Back in Brazil, he lambasted a youth representative of Brazil’s indigenous community for going to COP26 only to “attack Brazil.” Surely she should have realized that the easiest way to hurt the country would have been to not attend the summit at all.

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...

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


“A Continuation of Colonialism”: Indigenous Activists Say Their Voices Are Missing at COP26

Activists in Glasgow reject "big business" approach to climate crisis as they commemorate murdered land defenders

The Guardian | As world leaders inside COP26 in Glasgow boasted about pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions and end deforestation, Indigenous delegates gathered to commemorate activists killed for trying to protect the planet from corporate greed and government inaction.

Oil Executives Deny Misinformation on Climate Change, Despite Evidence

Mongabay | “Chevron has about 70 serious cases of environmental impunity in 31 countries worldwide, owing over $50 billion in settlement debts. When are you going to cut the check?” Tlaib said at the hearing. “You can poison the planet to make money, but we are going to defend the planet so we can live.”

A New 100-Page Report Raises Alarm over Chevron’s Impact on Planet

Mongabay | “It says horrible things about large companies, multi-national companies,” said environmental anthropologist Nan Greer in an interview. “It says that they can completely walk around international laws, national laws, the laws of their domicile.”

Is Chevron’s Vendetta Against Steven Donziger Finally Backfiring?

A judge sentenced the human rights lawyer to six months in prison – but the calls for environmental justice are only growing

The Nation | There are signs that Chevron has gone too far, and that relentlessly pursuing a human rights lawyer is damaging its international reputation. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is only the latest sign of concern and anger. Sixty-eight Nobel Laureates have shown their solidarity; another 475 lawyers and human rights defenders...

Protecting Indigenous People Key to Saving Amazon, Say Environmentalists

Reuters | "What we are seeing is an attack on indigenous people, on their rights, their lives and territories," said Leila Salazar-Lopez, executive director of Amazon Watch. "Indigenous people are the best protectors of the Amazon forest and of biodiversity around our planet ... because they have intrinsic spiritual and cultural connections to the land."

Indigenous Warrior Women Take Fight to Save Ancestral Lands to Brazilian Capital

Jair Bolsonaro is backing a legal move to open up large tracts of indigenous territory to commercial exploitation that tribal members call an "extermination effort"

The Guardian | Sônia Guajajara, a prominent indigenous leader, said: "These are all highly orchestrated measures which are designed to take away the land rights of indigenous people and open these lands up for exploitation … It's all about profit and money. We champion biodiversity, keeping the forest standing, which is precisely what ensures us life. All they...

Indigenous Leaders Push New Target to Protect Amazon from Deforestation

Reuters | "We invite the global community to join us to reverse the destruction of our home and by doing so safeguard the future of the planet," said José Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, lead coordinator for COICA, which represents Indigenous groups in nine Amazon-basin nations.

A Predator Called Gunvor in the Amazon

Public Eye | The Geneva-based trader Gunvor has imposed itself as one of the main players in Amazonian crude without winning a single tender. With financial support from Swiss banks, Gunvor convinced Ecuador to become heavily indebted to Asian state-owned companies, pushing the country to drill even deeper into its natural reserves to reimburse them. Toxic...

Steven Donziger Describes Contempt Case As a "Charade" As Trial Ends

The environmental lawyer who sued Chevron over environmental pollution faces up to six months in prison

The Intercept | As activists strive to hold fossil fuel companies responsible for their role in the climate crisis, there is growing popular recognition of the significance of Chevron's aggressive legal campaign against the environmental lawyer. But for the third time in the epic legal battle stemming from the pollution, the legal proceedings took place without a...

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Vowed to Work with Indigenous People. Now He’s Investigating Them.

Mongabay | The NGO Amazon Watch also slammed the Bolsonaro government for its "relentless attacks" on Indigenous peoples and the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. "Funai was meant to protect Indigenous people, not to persecute Indigenous leaders who demand that their government fulfill their obligations to protect its people during a pandemic," said...

“Narcos Are Looking for Me”: Deadly Threats to Peru’s Indigenous Leaders

Communities call for protection after string of killings linked to rush for land to grow coca, under cover of the pandemic

The Guardian | Indigenous communities in Peru’s central Amazon are experiencing an increase in violence, threats and harassment as drug gangs target their land to grow coca, the plant used to make cocaine. COVID-19 restrictions have made the remote region even more vulnerable by slowing state efforts to protect land and eradicate illegal coca cultivation.

The Ongoing Persecution of Steven Donziger

The environmentalist lawyer marks 600 days under house arrest — with no end in sight

The Nation | Chevron's strategy could be backfiring. Over the past few months, a global movement has grown to defend Donziger and his Ecuadorean clients. Some 55 Nobel Prize winners signed a letter defending Donziger; 475 lawyers and human rights defenders released a similar appeal. A blue-ribbon legal Monitoring Committee is closely following Donziger's case;...

BlackRock Must Commit to Indigenous Rights – Not Just Climate Change

Mongabay | "In Brazil the operations of corporations like the ones we mention above, into which BlackRock directs substantial investments on behalf of clients, have profound negative impacts on our communities, our forests, and the climate," APIB wrote. "You therefore have a responsibility for our future. And if the Amazon is destroyed, the future of the...

“I’ve Been Targeted With Probably the Most Vicious Corporate Counterattack in American History”

Steven Donziger has been under house arrest for over 580 days, awaiting trial on a misdemeanor charge. It's all, he says, because he beat a multinational energy corporation in court.

Esquire | Donziger is a human rights lawyer who, for more than 27 years, has represented the Indigenous peoples and rural farmers of Ecuador against Texaco – since acquired by Chevron – which was accused of dumping at least 16 billion gallons of toxic waste into the area of the Amazon rainforest in which they live. Cancer is now highly prevalent in the...

BlackRock to Press Companies on Human Rights and Nature

Bloomberg | Environmental group Amazon Watch welcomed BlackRock's moves but said they didn't go far enough. BlackRock failed to identify transparent expectations, time lines and consequences for company inaction on these issues, according to Moira Birss, Amazon Watch's Climate and Finance Director. "BlackRock should adopt a definitive no-deforestation and...

Ecuador Court Orders End to Gas Flaring by Oil Industry in Amazon

In the Ecuadoran Amazon, at least 447 flares have been burning gas for decades. Local communities say these flares are responsible for the high cancer rates in the area.

Mongabay | "I'm very happy because, finally, justice has been served. We're going to restore nature, for all the sick children, for the people, for the parents who have fought to stay healthy, for the families that have also kept fighting if only to grow a few crops, for the families who live under the flares and have had to abandon their land," says 10-year...

Ecuadorian Amazon: Three European Banks Stop Funding Trade of Oil

BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and ING have announced plans to exclude the problematic export from their trading activities in response to environmental criticisms

Al Jazeera | Marlon Vargas, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, believes "the decision of these banks to stop financing trade of Amazon crude from our territories is a major milestone in our effort to protect our lands, our lives, and our cultures. For too long, the oil industry has wreaked havoc on our peoples...

European Banks Quit Ecuador’s Amazonian Oil Trade

ING, Credit Suisse announce moves to exclude Ecuadorean Amazon oil export from trading activities as more European investors turn their backs on fossil fuels

Wall Street Journal | "The banks identified in our report faced serious allegations of double standards for making climate pledges while continuing to finance the trade of Amazon oil," said Moira Birss, climate and finance director at Amazon Watch.

European Lenders Exit Amazon Oil Trade After Scrutiny by Campaigners

Reuters | Credit Suisse, Dutch lender ING and France's BNP Paribas have decided to stop financing the trade in crude oil from Ecuador, the banks said on Monday, following pressure from campaigners aiming to protect the Amazon rainforest. The role of European lenders in backing the trade came under scrutiny in August, when a report by advocacy groups Stand...

In “Dire” Plea, Brazil’s Amazonas State Appeals for Global COVID Assistance

Mongabay | "[W]e ask for your support in the midst of this emergency fight against COVID-19 in our state. The situation is dire, and our fear is that the same situation we are seeing in the capital Manaus will reach the inland of Amazonas, the traditional and indigenous populations that are in situation of greater vulnerability because of the distance and...

Peruvian Indigenous Leaders Receive Death Threats

"We don't want to be the next victims"

El Comercio | Eight Indigenous leaders from Ucayali and Huánuco have received threats for months from narco-trafficking mafias, land invaders, and illegal loggers. Several days ago, they were in Lima demanding protection from the Peruvian government. They fear for their lives.