A MASSACRE OF CONVENIENCE: Democracy, progress, and the disappearance of a People in the Ecuadorian Amazon
“While the heavily-armed Waorani scoured the jungle to exterminate the uncontacted Taromenane tribe, leading Ecuadorian officials were in Beijing soliciting bids for new petrol concessions in its Amazon.” writes the Welsh journalist Robin Llewellyn who investigates the complicity of the Ecuadorian government in the massacres of uncontacted tribes above the oil rich Yasuni Amazon Rainforest.
“At the end of march this year, 2013, in the jungles of Ecuador’s northern orient, a great massacre of uncontacted indigenous was committed.” opens the book A Hidden Tragedy. “Accomplished in a way that was abusive and cruel. Those eliminated, above all, where women and children.”
Seventeen minutes before the book was due to be presented to the Ecuadorian public it was censored from circulation “over any medium” by none other than Judge Hilda Garces of the Judicial Unit of Violence Against Women and Family
Chief Ompore couldn’t stop smiling as he watched photos of Amazonian animals get projected across the Town Hall wall of Yarentaro – a remote village in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park inside what oil companies call “Block 16.”
It was the 14th of December 2012 and the Spanish oil giant RepSol that administers the petroleum block had funded a project as part of its Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development Strategy “designed to alleviate pressure on the forest and to restore the ecosystem to its original state.”
RepSol’s project to offset the hundreds of millions of dollars of crude oil being pumped out of Block 16 was to build a “zoo-creidero” or animal hatchery. Since big oil moved in bushmeant had become increasingly scarce in the Waorani tribe’s formerly bountiful hunting grounds but once the zoo-creidero was completed those same wild animals getting … Read More »
As the Ecuadorian government begins drilling for oil in the Yasuni National Park – one of the most biodiverse regions on Planet Earth – human rights lawyer Luis Xavier Solis discusses the existential threat of genocide facing the uncontacted tribes that inhabit this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Vilma Vargas Uncensored: the Caricaturist drawing circles around Ecuador´s attacks on freedom of expression
What happens to a democracy when its journalists and artists are too afraid to criticise those in power and express themselves freely?
This is one of the questions we ask Vilma Vargas – a rising talent in the Ecuadorian art scene who was twice selected for the “World Press Cartoon” in Portugal and awarded first prize at RESET 11.11.11 in Mexico for best caricaturist.
Today on Chekhov’s Kalashnikov we are going to talk with Luis Xavier Solis Tenesaca who works for the Comittee of Human Rights of Orellana in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This organization which works closely with UNHCR is in charge of protecting and defending some of the worlds most vulnerable and forgotten people – refugees that have fled Colombians civil war in search for asylum and a better life in Ecuador.
In the dense cloud forests that cover the western ridge of the Ecuadorian Andes an active guerrilla movement called the Pachamama Army roams.
Unlike other guerrilla armies further north inside this biodiversity hotspot biologists call the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena, this movement believes in non-violent struggle over violent subversion.
Their revolution is one of consciousness via connection with nature and they are armed to the teeth with seeds, saplings, and shovels instead of guns and shells.
For Chekhovs Kalashnikovs very first interview on Change Makers we will be talking with environmental activist Chris Canaday from California about the broken and dangerous state of human and water sanitation systems and the solution to this problem that is damaging our environment and health.