by: The Universe
Thursday July 7, 2011. At the headquarters of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Flacso), a group of indigenous leaders from the Sarayaku community, based in the province of Pastaza, tried to follow, through a virtual link, the hearing of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that began yesterday afternoon in Costa Rica. But audio and video problems made it difficult to see excerpts from the act, in which delegates from the Amazonian people planned to denounce the alleged abuses they suffered due to the "arbitrary, illegal and unconsulted incursion of the Argentine oil company Compañía General de Combustibles”, quoted Mario Santi, leader of the Sarayaku communities.

In 1996, the country signed a contract with the company for oil exploration and exploitation in a block of land located in the Sarayaku territory. The indigenous community was not consulted on the agreement, Santi said.

Therefore, the lawsuit seeks to create precedents for the State to carry out a prior consultation before carrying out oil exploitation in indigenous communities.

According to the Sarayaku reported to the Court, the activities of the oil company involved the felling of forests, the mobilization of land, vegetation and materials, the placement and detonation of explosives, the construction of heliports and camps.

The hearing continues today with the delivery of testimony.

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