With the present situation in society, it is almost looking certain that most native tribes would be extinct by the turn of the century. To not let that happen, most governments are actually implementing laws that would ensure their survival. But what happens when some capitalist organization doesn’t pay heed to those laws? Well, the natives fight back.
The Waorani tribe of Ecuador landed a historic victory after judges ruled in their favor prohibiting oil companies from explorations in the Amazonian lands. It took the criminal court of Puyo two weeks to deliberate and finally affirm to the court protection plea. The plea was against a bidding war between oil companies on the 180,000 hectares that the government had opened up.
These lands have been under the control of the tribes, since the government laid down laws, promising this as an ‘unseizable’ right of the tribes. But, what is important is that the wealth present in the subsoil, technically still belongs to the government. This means any idea to exploit these areas should be consulted with the government before going for actual action. The idea is to preserve the culture and environment of the area.
Although the state did reach midway with the tribes back in 2012 regarding oil exploration, the leaders consider themselves duped. The judge for this particular proceeding asked the state to change its consultation laws based on the one that is set at San Jose by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Lina Maria Espinosa, the attorney of the natives, considers this a big victory for the tribes, who had their rights almost taken away from them. She talks about how the state had violated the promise of consultations before too, and how the rights of many tribes like them have been blown apart.
The Waorani has a number of about 4,800 people and they, also, inhabit other provinces of Amazon. And this remains a historic win – something that we should all be glad about.
IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia