URGENT SARAYACU UPDATE - DECEMBER 10, 2002
SARAYACU KICHWA COMMUNITY IN AMAZON OF ECUADOR CONTINUES TO DEFEND ITS TERRITORIES FROM ILLEGAL OIL EXTRACTIONŠ..
Dear Organizations, NGO's and Friends,
Following below is the recent document released by the Council of Tayja Saruta-Sarayacu Community, Amazon Ecuador. Included are attachments to:
1) Seismic Exploratory Map that shows intended paths for dynamite
2) Map of Sacred Sites of Sarayacu (blue dots areas)
3) Copy of False Signatures mentioned in document
4) Action Steps You can Take to Help
Approximately 4km of seismic dynamiting has taken place in Sarayacu Territories. Due to resistance and actions taken, currently this activity is paralyzed until meeting with high officials are concluded this week.
Support is needed from the international community to win in the struggle to Permanently have Sarayacu Territory declared an Intangible Zone of Biodiversity and Cultural Patrimony.
Please forward to your contact lists, create links in websites to ours, or publish this information in your newsletters.
For more information, please see: www.sarayacu.com
Karen Marrero and Juan Gualinga
Sarayacu International Representatives
200,000 Hectares of Virgin Rainforest Lands Being Dynamited
Forty years after the Shell [Oil Company] pulverized the subsoil [in nearby Amazon areas of Ecuador] by detonating explosives, various aquatic species, like snakes, especially anacondas, lizards, turtles and dolphins, which are considered to be sacred, disappeared, thereby depriving the lives of those inhabitants of the jungle. The Yachajs [wise medicine people] revealed that after those four decades, these species began to reappear, regenerating themselves, being reborn like the branches sprouting from the roots of the trunks of dead trees.
Now, after those four decades, once again they are with explosives mining indigenous lands, tunnels, hollows, salt-lick deposits and refuges of the animal species and especially affecting the life of peoples settled for thousands of years in these vast territories.
Sometimes these explosives weigh more than a ton, sufficiently powerful to create a holocaust in Paris, Brussels or Washington. Is this because the Amazonian forests have no value and thus have to be destroyed along with all its people? So we ask ourselves, would they dynamite their great cultural cities, artistic centers, government buildings, museums, markets or hospitals? People can't commit such self-suicide.
Why do these Indian and jungle lands have to be dynamited and exploited without mercy with these explosive charges? We will not allow a handful of people to threaten against all life causing terror, genocide and ecocide.
With this, we place before you a map which proves why we reject the aggression and death that these companies try to hide from us, the
indigenous people, who are defending our lives and protecting the forests and future generations.
Each line [on this map] marks a path where they are detonating the explosives while each dot marks a munitions deposit. The dots can be
distinguished in this way... each 100 meters there's an explosive charge of 4 kilos set 5, 20 and 100 meters deep in a straight line. The total explosive charge deposited underground represents 1200 kg. or one ton.
The detonations of these explosives, which are carried out day and night, affect all kinds of species that live on the earth and in the rivers, the small rivulets, throughout the lagoons where these sacred and reproductive animals inhabit, among the roots of trees, in caves, in hollows, the nesting places of all kinds of fauna and flora, which is not even considering the other impacts. The detonations produce a direct and profound impact over an area 4 square kilometers and a second impact, which can be felt up to 10 kilometers away. And these explosions leave a mass of destroyed earth on the surface of the soil.
Moreover, there is no proof by any study that limits or evaluates this project. The environmental study presented by the CGC in inadequate and, even worse, contains insufficient data concerning the socio-cultural, economic, spiritual and environmental impact of these explosions, as we shall demonstrate.
The Corruption Behind and Illegality of the Accords Signed Between the CGC
And Certain Individuals:
In this document, we want to show the illegality and Unconstitutionality of the accords signed allowing the CGC to exploit petroleum in the Sarayaku territory.
The Sarayaku are a sovereign People, with authority and political, administrative and territorial structures demonstrating their indivisible
and unchallengeable integrity. The inalienable and unembargoable collective nature of Sarayaku is recognized in the political letter of the Ecuadorian Constitution, Articles 84 and 88. The [Sarayaku] Assembly is our highest authority and our leaders are democratically elected and publicly recognized. They have the legal faculty to represent, convoke, lead and make decisions which decisions are based upon consensus when there are collective interests at stake. This is particularly true in cases involving irreplaceable resources.
Under these conditions, the agreement signed between the CGC and Telmo Gualinga and Franklin Santi, individuals without any authority demonstrates the cunning and manipulation of the persons representing the CGC Company.
The Sarayaku people reject the claim that these agreements are juristically legal and we refute the validity of that document. Towards this end, we attach the final parts of the document signed by these persons, which the CGC is attempting to validate.
Abdon Gualinga,Kuraka Leader Cali Cali; Euclides Malaver, Kuraka Leader Chonta Yaku; Milton Gualinga, Kuraka Leader Shiguacocha; Galo Manya, Kuraka Leader Centro Sarayaku; Fausto Aranda, Kuraka Leader Sarayaquillo; Sabino Gualinga, Yachaj Representative; Franco Viteri Gualinga, Tayak Apu
(Translated by Philip Wheaton of CIS, Washington, DC; Verified Sarayacu I.R)