Dozens of Shuar families forced from their land late last year by Ecuadorian security forces face a shortage of food and medical care in what indigenous leaders say is a growing humanitarian crisis.
The families were evicted violently to make way for a Chinese-owned copper mine in southern Ecuador. Most of the evictions occurred when the government placed the indigenous territory under military control in December, according to Tuntiak Katan, coordinator of territories for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana, CONFENIAE).
“A state of panic was created with the use of military force,” Katan told Indian Country Media Network in a telephone interview. “There hasn’t been due process.”
We all know how dangerous any kind of mining is to the environment; and, the treatment of the Shuar people demonstrate how callous this company is. I went to their website to get the names of the "key executives" only to find that all relevant information: names of executives; phone numbers; email addresses; etc. have been blurred out. The only remaining information is the snail mail address which I will use; but, I will continue searching for specific people to address this petition to.
To Whom It May Concern:
We, the undersigned, demand that the wrongfully-evicted Shuar people be allowed to return to their homes. They were evicted at rifle point, with no prior warning, in order to make way for Explorcobres S.A. copper mining company.
Ecuadorian law calls for prior consultation of Indigenous Peoples about development projects affecting their territory, but Katan said exploration began with no consultation of the Shuar communities.
Police and soldiers forcibly evicted eight families from the community of Nankints in August 2016 to make way for a mining company, said Carlos Mazabanda, Ecuador field coordinator for the non-profit organization Amazon Watch.
Families fled into the surrounding forest as bulldozers razed their homes.
“They weren’t given the chance to get their belongings out of their houses,” Mazabanda said.
The families spent several nights in the forest, making their way toward another community, where they took refuge, Katan said. Two pregnant women gave birth during the ordeal.
The eyes of the world are upon you; and, what we see so far disgusts us.