Ecuadorian Indigenous Communities Unite, Rejecting Oil Bids affecting their territories in the Amazon.

Several serious grievances need to be highlighted here. Firstly, Carlos Pérez and the Ecuadorian Government are ignoring the obvious fact that these territories are occupied bv three important communities, the Shiwiar, the Sapora and Achuar.

Secondly, they have failed to legally consult the indigenous communities first and foremost, prior to any public proposals or conferences of any industrial activities. Indigenous groups in Ecuador have been recognised under the United Nations to which there exists a non-binding agreement, which gives indigenous groups the chance to defend their lives, land, and culture. Guaranteed throughout the Declaration is the right to a process of “Free, Prior and Informed Consent” for indigenous peoples when faced with decisions, projects, or legislation by corporations or government that may affect their people and/or territory. Article 57, point 7 of the 2008 Constitution of Ecuador guarantees free, prior and informed consultation, within a reasonable period; however, this does not require consent (and is not binding). Article 82 refers explicitly to environmental consultation, in the case of a state decision which might affect the environment, and specifies broad and timely information for those affected. However, even if there is a majority opposing the project in question, it may still be carried out on the condition that the impact on those affected and the ecosystem is minimised.