Interview with President José Gualinga in Ecuavisa

Saturday April 21, 2012

At this time, the legal diligence of the Sarayaku Case versus the State of Ecuador is being carried out by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court) in the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku. It is the first time that the Inter-American Court has visited an indigenous people.

José Gualinga, President of Sarayaku, welcomed all those attending the event and handed over command of the House of Assembly to the President of the Inter-American Court, Diego García-Sayán. During their speeches, both highlight this event as historic for Sarayaku, the Inter-American Court and for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

The President of the Inter-American Court is accompanied by Judge Rhadys Abreu Blondet, Secretary Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Olger González, the attorney in charge of the case, and a delegation from the Inter-American Commission represented by Carla Quintana and Isabel Madariaga. The people of Sarayaku are legally defended by their lawyers, Dr. Mario Melo (Pachamama Foundation) and Viviana Krsticevic (CEJIL). The State delegation is headed by: the Legal Secretary of the Presidency of Ecuador, Alexis Mera, the Minister of Justice, Johana Pezántes, and the Executive Secretary of ECORAE, Carlos Viteri Gualinga. In addition, the President of CONAIE, Humberto Cholango, the President of ECUARRUNARI, Delfín Tenesaca, the President of CONFENAIE, Franco Viteri, the President of CONAICE, Olindo Nastacuaz, representatives of the Communities, Peoples and Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuador, representatives of human and social rights organizations, representatives of sectional governments and journalists from national and international media.

The Inter-American Court heard 6 witnesses from the town of Sarayaku in order to collect additional evidence. Then, the delegation of the Inter-American Court, the IACHR and the State delegates visited the community and the house of one of the victims. Before lunch, Diego García Sayán was invited to dance in the communal plaza to the rhythm of the Sarayaku drums.

The people of Sarayaku hope that the trial will be concluded with this event and that the Inter-American Court will issue a favorable sentence for Sarayaku.

Sarayaku Communication Team

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