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Save our precious forest

Save our precious forest


Why this is important

The helicopter carrying oil prospectors was trying to land in Carlos Grefa’s fields, in our community of Sani Isla. His wife was working the land with a machete and this scared the oil men and stopped them landing. Days later, oil men offered Carlos’ father, an elder of our community, $200 per month to use up his land to build an oil camp. Carlos immediately rejected any payment, telling the oil prospectors: "You are dividing our community with your money offerings, but we will fight with all our strength to protect our territory."

The Ecuadorian government is trying everything to extract the oil below this precious rainforest. They are offering all kinds of marvelous-sounding things to get us to sign the contract, despite our community’s pledge four years ago that we’ll never sell out for oil exploitation.

We've stopped them once from drilling here, but we are not safe. We live in fear that the oil men, with the army to clear their way, may come again any day. Only a wave of international pressure from thousands of people from all over the world can get President Correa to change his mind.

The Constitution of Ecuador says we should respect the rights of the mother earth (Pacha Mama), and this is the main reason to force the Government to protect our collective rights over the Kichwa territory and the environment.

We will fight to defend our land, although our weapons are nothing compared to the oil company and the government. Our strongest weapon is global public opinion and the media right now, when Correa is seeking re-election, as well as an outcry delivered to Oswaldo Madrid, CEO of PetroAmazonas, the state-owned oil company.

Posted January 22, 2013
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