In the midst of a critical situation due to floods and numerous COVID-19 infections, Sarayaku will once again be in court to claim their territorial rights.
Washington, DC, Quito, Sarayaku. June 24, 2020.- On June 19, 2020, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador notified the admission of the processing of the lawsuit for non-compliance filed by the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku against Lenin Moreno, President of the Republic, César Litardo, President of the National Assembly and Cecilia Chacón, National Secretary of Human Rights who, together with Dr. Iñigo Salvador Crespo, Attorney General of the State, must answer for not having complied with the sentence issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2012, within the Sarayaku Case.
Despite eight years having elapsed, the ruling of the Inter-American Court continues to be unfulfilled on three key points:
(I) the removal of the explosives planted by the CGC oil company in Sarayaku territory;
(II) that Sarayaku be consulted regarding new oil projects in its territory;
(III) that legislative, administrative or other measures be adopted that allow the exercise of the right to free, prior and informed consultation of the indigenous peoples with the participation of the communities.
This decision comes at a time when Sarayaku and other communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon are suffering, on the one hand, the effects of the devastating floods that occurred in April this year and, on the other, the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far It takes the lives of several elderly people without the state institutions having come to the aid of the victims.
Tupak Viteri, Tayak Apu (President) of Sarayaku, affirmed that despite the critical situation his people are going through, they will not give up their fight so that the sentence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is carried out. "The State only remembers us in elections, when it wants to remove the oil from our territory or when we win a lawsuit," he said.
The Constitutional Court must order that prior consultation with indigenous peoples be regulated in accordance with the Constitution of Ecuador and the American Convention on Human Rights, a few days after the announcement by the Ministry of Mining on the approval of a prior consultation regulation mining whose text would not respond to the provisions of said instruments.
In accordance with Article 57 of the Organic Law of Jurisdictional Guarantees, the Court must notify the defendants within twenty-four hours, so that they comply or justify the non-compliance, in a hearing that must be held within two days. Together with his representatives, the lawyer Mario Melo and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Sarayaku asks the Court to give prompt attention to this trial that will put an end to an eight-year wait for compliance with an international ruling. . They also reiterate that the Ecuadorian State has an international obligation to act effectively and immediately to address the health crisis and the floods within the territory of Sarayaku, in consultation with the people, to guarantee their right to life and health.