MAC: Mines and Communities

Ecuador: Death toll accompanies protests against retrogressive legislation

Published by MAC on 2009-10-05

He came to power, promising to curb mining abuses and respect the rights of Ecuador's Indigenous Peoples.

But, last week, president Correa's government passed two laws which, according to indigenous organisations in the Amazon, violate those very rights.

Police then violently attacked a peaceful Shuar protest against the new legislation, leaving at least one demonstrator dead.

Ecuador: Support Indigenous Protesters; Stop Government Repression

Global Response/ Cultural Survival Press Release

2 October 2009

Ecuadorian police have attacked peaceful Shuar Indigenous protesters near the town of Macas in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon, leaving at least one Shuar teacher dead.

Please join Cultural Survival in condemning this state violence and urge Ecuador's President Rafael Correa to refrain from further violence, investigate the Macas violence, and negotiate directly with Indigenous organizations to address their concerns and uphold their rights.

Indigenous Peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon launched protests early this week against a new Water Law and the Mining Law. These laws, they charge, ignore the rights of Indigenous Peoples as stated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in the International Labor Organization's Convention 169, both of which have been ratified by Ecuador.

They endanger the Ecuadorian Amazon's vast tropical rainforest by facilitating further encroachment by mining, oil and logging companies, construction of hydroelectric dams, and privatization of water.

Tito Puenchir, President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), called for "permanent protests" until changes are made in the water and mining laws to protect the natural resources of the Amazon region and recognize the rights of its Indigenous inhabitants. CONFENIAE also asked the United Nations and the Organization of American States to intervene.

Following the violence at Macas, President Correa offered to meet with CONFENIAE and the national indigenous organization CONAIE, but the Indigenous organizations insist that the talks take place in the Amazon. So far, Correa has not agreed to meet outside the capital.


Please send letters to President Correa. The fastest way to reach him is via the Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States (see email, fax and address below).

Thank you for standing with the Amazon's Indigenous Peoples to defend their rights and to prevent corporate sacking of the world's largest tropical rainforest.


Economista Rafael Correa Delgado
Presidente Constitucional de la República del Ecuador García Moreno y Chile Palacio de Carondelet Quito, ECUADOR

Ambassador Luis Benigno Gallegos Chiriboga
2535 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482


[The Canadian address is:
His Excellency Mariano Alejandro SUAREZ PASQUEL Ambassador Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador
50 O'Connor Street Suite 316
Ontario, Canada, K1P 6L2

Telephone (613) 563-8206,4286/1-866-204-1735(24h) Fax (613) 235-5776]


Paula Palmer, Director
Global Response Program

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Cultural Survival is a global leader in the fight to protect Indigenous lands, languages, and cultures around the world. In partnership with Indigenous Peoples, we advocate for Native communities whose rights, cultures, and dignity are under threat. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we are a membership organization whose board of directors includes some of the world's preeminent Indigenous leaders, as well as lawyers, anthropologists, business leaders, and philanthropists.


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