MAC: Mines and Communities

Ecuador's Shuar advances struggle against Covid-19

Published by MAC on 2020-05-14
Source: Mining Watch Canada

Canadian company, Solaris Resources, linked to possible outbreak.

The Shuar Indigenous community in Ecuador has received more than one hundred pledges of organisational support from across the world in its ongoing battle against the devastation caused by the Corona Virus, compounded by the government's failure to cope with it.

See: Corona Virus hits Ecuadorian Amazon


COVID-19 in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Over 100 organizations show solidarity with Indigenous Shuar Arutam, repudiate mining companies for putting communities at grave risk

Mining Watch Canada

14 May 2020


Over 100 organizations from around the world show solidarity with Shuar Arutam People and demand immediate attention to COVID-19 outbreak

Ecuadorian government has ordered nationwide lockdown, but exempted mining companies

Canadian company, Solaris Resources, linked to possible outbreak

More than 100 organizations from around the world have signed onto an open-letter to show their support for the Shuar Arutam People (PSHA) in the Ecuadorian Amazon as they confront a possible COVID-19 outbreak in their territories.

The initiative responds to the PSHA’s urgent demands of the Ecuadorian government following the death of two people whose close relatives traveled to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) mining fair in Toronto, Canada in March, 2020. In March, the PSHA denounced the company for bringing 7 Shuar community members to Toronto in supposed representation of the communities, despite not being duly elected representatives of the Shuar Arutam People's Assembly. The PSHA decried the delegation as part of efforts to undermine their categorical rejection of mining in their territory. Upon the delegation’s return to Ecuador, 2 of their immediate family members died with COVID-19-like symptoms.At least 8 other members of Shuar communities are also showing symptoms.

International organizations condemned Solaris Resources’ “ongoing interference in Shuar indigenous territory as well as its disdain for the self-determining decisions of the PSHA”, noting that“the actions of this company and its subsidiary in Ecuador (Lowell Minerals) constitute serious threats to peace and health in the Amazon region as a whole.”

Other mining companies from Canada, Australia and China also pose a threat to the communities’ ongoing struggle to protect health and the environment against resource extraction. The open letter observes that, “...Their activities are causing irreparable damage and putting the social fabric of Indigenous communities and mega-diverse Amazonian ecosystems at grave risk. The mere presence of company employees in the region, due to the possibility of coronavirus transmission, may exacerbate these impacts.”

The letter closes with an expression of solidarity to the PSHA and all Indigenous peoples in the Amazon whose territories are threatened by COVID-19 and resource extraction.

The President of the Shuar Arutam People's assembly (PSHA), Josefina Tunki  remarks, “In the name of the Shuar Arutam peoples, we are grateful for the solidarity and support that organizations from around the globe have shown us. For the Shuar Peoples and other nationalities, this solidarity represents a greater defense for protection which helps us to better defend lives, and protect the water and the forest which are fundamental for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous world”.

Given the difficulties that the Shuar Arutam peoples are now facing, this morning the PSHA launched this crowdsourcing campaign to assist them to collect funds which will be dedicated to buying community sanitation packs and food stuffs for their communities. You can donate here

A list of the organisations which have signed the letter:

AccionEcologica (Ecuador)
Amazon Watch
Articulación de mujeres defensoras de la Naturaleza Saramanta Warmikuna (Ecuador)
Asociación Internacional UNIMOS (Spain)
Asociación para la Promoción y el Desarrollo de la Comunidad- CEIBA (Ecuador)
Beyond Extraction (Canada)
Bios Iguana A.C (Mexico)
Brod Ecological Society-BED (Croatia)
Caminantes (Ecuador)
Campaign For Peace & Democracy (Manipur)
Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
CEDENMA (Ecuador)
CEIBA (Guatemala)
Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos "Segundo Montes Mozo SJ" (CSMM)
Christian Peacemaker Teams (Canada)
Climate Action Hobart (Tasmania)
Colectivo de Geografía Crítica (Ecuador)
Colectivo Voces Ecológicas COVEC (Ecuador)
Collectif Causse Méjean - Gaz de Schiste NON! (Australia)
Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos- CEDHU (Ecuador)
Comité para los derechos humanos en América Latina - CDHAL (Canada)
Common Frontiers (Canada)
Community Empowerment and Social Justice Network- CEMSOJ (Nepal)
Consejo shipibo konibo xetebo
Converge Forward
CooperAcción (Peru)
Creative Streaks
DesBorde Ec
E-Tech International
Earth Thrive
Earthworks (USA)
Equitable Earth Initiative
European Network on Indigenous Peoples
Extinction Rebellion Tasmania
Forest Network
Forest Peoples Programme (Netherlands)
Frente Nacional por la Salud de los Pueblos del Ecuador- FNSPE (Ecuador)
Friends of the Earth (Australia)
Fundacion Aldea (Ecuador)
Fundación Ecuatoriana Equidad
Fundación UVIA
Gobierno Territorial Autonomo de la Nacion Wmapis
Grupo de Pesquisa e Extensão Política, Economia, Mineração, Ambiente e Sociedade- PoEMAS (Brazil)
Grupo Kanaka
ICCA Consortium
Igapo Project (France)
Iniciativa para las Inversiones Sustentables China-América Latina
Instituto de Estudios Ecologistas del Tercer Mundo
Institute for Policy Studies - Global Economy Project (USA)
International Accountability Project
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
Jubilee Australia
Ka Kuxtal Much Meyaj A.C.
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Khan Kaneej aur ADHIKAR
Kohtuus vaarassa (Finland)
Latin America Solidarity Centre
London Mining Network (UK)
Mapuche Nation support Committee, Edmonton (Canada)
Marrow of the Mountain (USA)
Mineral Policy Institute
Mines, minerals &People
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
Mining Justice Action Committee (Canada)
Mining Justice Alliance (Canada)
Mining Justice Action Committee (Canada)
Mining Watch Canada
Movimiento Ecologista de Mujeres del Sur
Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo extractivo Minero - M4-
Melbourne Rainforest Action Group
Mujeres Amazónicas Defensoras de la Selva contra el estractivismo
Natures Heart Intentions
North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF)
Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales OLCA (Chile)
Observatorio Minero, Ambiental y Social del Norte del Ecuador- OMASNE (Ecuador)
Otros Mundos AC/Chiapas (México)
People & Planet
Philippines Australia Union Link
Plenty Canada
Procesos Integrales para la Autogestión de los Pueblos
Red Eclesial Panamazonica (Ecuador)
Red Mexicana de Afectadas/os por la Minería (REMA)
Rights Action (Canada)
Salva la Selva
Save Our Sperrins (SOS) (Ireland)
SAVIA (Bolivia)
Servicios en Comunicación Intercultural Servindi
Students for Mining Justice (UBC)
Terra Nuova
TerraJusta (former project of The Democracy Center)
The Gaia Foundation (UK)
The United Church of Canada
Toxisphera Environmental Health Association
TreeSisters Australia
UBC Environmental Law Group (Canada)
Union of BC Indian Chiefs (Canada)
Unite Community
War on Want (UK)
Water Justice and Gender
YASunidxs Guapondelig
Yasunidos Piñas
Yes to Life, No to Mining Regional Coordinators


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