Amazon Indigenous Protests

Photo by: Javier Clemente from Spain

Image taken 09/19/2019 (Location: Ecuadorian Amazon, El Puyo). For two days the Amazon highway (Puyo-Tena, the most important highway in the Ecuadorian Amazon) was cut off by native Amazonian communities. The objective, that the hydroelectric company GENEFRAN SA take out the machinery that it had next to the Piatúa river. The sentence of the Court of Justice of Pastaza resolved to paralyze the execution of the hydroelectric project. *The destruction of the Amazon has reached an unprecedented acceleration in recent years. The largest tropical region on the planet loses huge tracts of rainforest every year to the extractive industries. In the 15th century, tropical forests occupied 12% of the earth's surface and were inhabited by millions of people from thousands of various social groups. In five hundred years we have destroyed half of the tropical forests. In the Amazon, which has more than 6 million km2 (two thirds of the remaining forest) distributed in nine countries, there are about 400 peoples, each with its own language, culture and territory. None of the Amazonian countries has respected their traditional peoples, nor has they been able to adequately protect the biome. The Amazon is the most excluded region in these countries and one of the most excluded on the planet. Indigenous peoples have always been treated with violence. Their lands have been taken from them, they have been persecuted, enslaved and killed. Currently the situation is not very different from how it was centuries ago, especially in the Amazon. Now, in addition, the situation of the peoples is aggravated by the Covid-19 crisis, because their territories are being invaded by extractive, logging and prospecting companies; illicit operations that have increased during the coronavirus crisis. The territory is vital for the reproduction of life. Nature in its best state of conservation is essential for it. The territory is imprescriptible and inalienable, it is the collective space inherited from the ancestors and reconfigured in the historical struggles of the peoples. It is not just a physical space, but a relational territory, shared with other living beings and entities, with ancestors, with present and future generations.

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