Open letter addressed by the Kichwa People of Sarayaku to the President of Ecuador

Sarayaku, September 13, 2012

Rafael Correa Delgado


In his office-
Mr. president:
As you are aware, on June 27, 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a ruling in the case of the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku against the Ecuadorian state.

In said sentence, the Court declared the international responsibility of the Ecuadorian State for the violation against the People of Sarayaku, of the rights to consultation, to indigenous communal property, to cultural identity, to judicial guarantees and to judicial protection, as well as for having seriously endangered the rights to life and personal integrity of the members of our people.

The Court also ordered the Ecuadorian state to comply with a set of measures of restitution, satisfaction and guarantee of non-repetition that must be fulfilled in favor of the People of Sarayaku and whose repercussions, in several cases, are projected towards greater and deeper protection. of the dignity of the indigenous peoples of the country and the continent.

Several of the measures ordered by the Court seek to remedy situations of serious risk to life, such as those that refer to the removal of explosives placed in our territory and some other measures seek to prevent the reiteration of violations of the rights of indigenous peoples through the adoption of legislative, administrative or other measures that allow the effective fulfillment of the right to free, prior and informed consultation in accordance with international law standards. Said measures must be compulsorily adopted after consultation and participation of the communities.

However, more than seventy days have elapsed since the issuance of the sentence and the Government that you lead has not established formal communication with the Kichwa People of Sarayaku to start coordinating compliance with the sentence. Although by telephone the Ministry of Justice announced to us, last Thursday, September 6, its intention to summon us to a meeting to discuss the sentence, said call did not materialize.
The urgency and importance of the measures provided for in the judgment require that their implementation begin immediately, to prevent the violations of rights for which the State was convicted from recurring.

Thus, we are concerned that although the judgment, in paragraph 301, provides that the State take the legislative, administrative or other measures necessary for the effective exercise of the right to prior consultation of indigenous peoples, modifying those that prevent it and Always acting with the participation of the indigenous peoples, consultation processes are now being carried out with the indigenous peoples of our own region regarding a new oil round, protected by a regulation put into effect before the sentence, without the participation of the indigenous communities. and that it does not respect the human rights standards indicated by the Inter-American Court.

This constitutes an evident contradiction between the will to comply with the judgment expressed by your Government before the Inter-American Court and what is happening in practice regarding the right to be consulted in accordance with the international human rights framework that the Inter-American Court has reiterated to favor of the indigenous peoples.
Concerned about this situation, I am writing to you to request that you urgently appoint a high-level official to be responsible for timely coordination with the People of Sarayaku to comply with the judgment of the Inter-American Court. Once that designation is made, the beneficiaries of the judgment and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights are made known to us so that we can get in touch and start the process.

 Similarly, we request that the authorities of the hydrocarbon sector refrain from carrying out acts that go against the provisions of the judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, especially moving forward with consultation processes without previously modifying the regulations in force to adapt it to inter-American human rights standards with the participation of indigenous communities.
I take this opportunity to express to you, on behalf of the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku, our feelings of consideration and respect.

Jose Gualinga
DC. Inter-American Court of Human Rights

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