On Monday, October 16, 2006, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, referred to the case of the Sarayaku Indigenous People of Ecuador, in the oral presentation he presented before the General Assembly of the UN, which takes place in New York City.
Mr. Stavenhagen said, referring to Ecuador, that "The progressive deterioration of the indigenous habitat and the impact of extractive activities, in particular oil, mining and logging, on the environment and communities, especially in the Amazon, the northern border and the Pacific coast.
Special attention deserves the problems faced by uncontacted peoples or peoples in voluntary isolation, affected by illegal logging of forests and other illegal activities in their territories.” The Rapporteur also mentioned that oil exploitation in indigenous territories has provoked resistance from some communities, such as the Sarayaku, which has resorted to the protection of the Inter-American Human Rights System.
“This reference to the Sarayaku Case and in general to the situation of Ecuadorian indigenous peoples, within the highest forum of the international community, reflects the concern that exists at a global level regarding the issue and makes us hope that the State Ecuadorian becomes aware and begins to comply with the provisional measures ordered by the Inter-American Court in favor of Sarayaku,” said Mario Melo, a lawyer from the Center for Economic and Social Rights who legally advises the People of Sarayaku.
Let us remember that since July 2004 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a series of provisional measures to protect Sarayaku, affected in its territory by the activities of the Argentine oil company CGC, among which the withdrawal of one and a half tons of explosives left in its territory by the aforementioned oil company between 2002 and 2003. Sarayaku has been denouncing the lack of compliance by the Ecuadorian State with said measures.
The Sarayaku case in the assembly of the UN (October 19, 2006)
On Monday, October 16, 2006, the special narrator of the UN regarding fundamental rights and liberties of indigenous peoples, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, made reference to the case of the indigenous people of Sarayaku in Ecuador, in an oral exposition that he presented in the General Assembly of the UN, in New York.
Mr. Stavenhagen said, with reference to Ecuador that “it is reason for serious concern the progressive depletion of the habitat of the indigenous peoples, and the impacts of extractives activities, particularly the exploitation of oil, minerals and timber, on the environment and the communities, especially in the Amazon, along the northern border, and the Pacific coast. The problems that the uncontacted peoples, or people living in voluntary isolation, confront deserve special attention, as they are affected by illegal logging and other illicit activities within their territories”. He also mentioned that the oil exploitation in indigenous territories have provoked resistance from some communities, such as Sarayaku which has turned to the Interamerican Sistem of Human Rights for protection.
“This reference to the Sarayaku case and in general the situation of Ecuadorian indigenous peoples, in the heart of the highest forum of the international community, reflects the global concern about the issue, and makes us feel hope that the Ecuadorian state sensibilizes and begins to comply with the provisional measures ordered by the Interamerican Court in favor of Sarayaku” said Mario Melo, lawyer of CDES (Center for Economic and Social Rights), which provides legal assistance to the Sarayaku people.
We remind that since July 2004, the Interamerican Court of Human Rights dictated a series of provisional measures in order to protect the Sarayaku people, affected in their own territory by the activities of the Argentine oil company CGC. Among them were the withdrawal of a ton and a half of explosives left in the Sarayaku territory by the CGC in 2002 and 2003. Sarayaku has ever since denounced the lack of compliance with these measures on part of the Ecuadorian state.
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