Heart of Ecuador’s Yasuni, home to uncontacted tribes, opens for oil drilling (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park sits in a unique position on the equator, between the Andes mountain range and the Amazon rainforest, which has allowed a rich and distinct biodiversity to flourish. The region is surrounded by towering ceibo and mahogany trees, emblematic of the area, as well as hundreds of endemic birds, …

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Ecuador: Colombia refugees stage weeks-long protest against UNHCR (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Gina Pena said she was leaving a humanitarian aid office in Ecuador's capital Quito one day when she saw the man who had threatened her life back in Colombia. "If I open my mouth, he'll cut my family up. That's what he told me," Pena recalled, adding she no longer feels safe …

Historic win by Ecuador’s Waorani could re-shape extraction activities (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR — The indigenous Waorani community in Ecuador won a historic lawsuit against the government late last month, when a three-judge panel ruled that a consultation process conducted with the community in 2012 was inadequate and violated the community’s rights. The ruling immediately suspends any possibility of selling the community’s territory for the sake …

Indigenous Waorani win landmark legal case against Ecuador gov’t (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - The indigenous Waorani community in Ecuador won a landmark lawsuit on Friday against three government bodies for conducting a faulty consultation process with the community before putting their territory up for sale in an international oil auction. The ruling immediately suspends any possibility of selling the community's land for oil exploration. It …

How Drones and GPS Are Helping Indigenous People in Ecuador Save the Amazon (The Pacific Standard)

SINANGOE, ECUADOR — The day begins with everyone drinking a big cup of Yoko. A man called Viejo ("old man," in Spanish) carves the bark off a special vine found only in the Amazon highlands and mixes it with water. The resulting brew has a gritty texture and a bitter, earthy taste and gives the …

Indigenous Waorani sue Ecuadorian government over land rights (Al Jazeera)

PUYO, ECUADOR - More than 200 indigenous Waorani people and their supporters marched to the court in the Amazon city of Puyo on Thursday to begin their high-stakes hearing against the Ecuadorian government. After long protesting oil extraction in its territory, the community are suing three government bodies - the Ministry of Energy and Non-renewable …

Indigenous Organizers Halted Plans for Oil Drilling in the Amazon (In These Times)

PUYO, ECUADOR—Rosa Elvira Chuji Gualingai, 50, came to the city to pressure the government. Watching the traffic outside her office window, she says, “I can't get used to this lifestyle.” The indigenous activist, leader of the Shiwiar community of Kurintsa, was raised deep in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by towering ceibo and palm trees. With …

‘Big step but not enough’: Ecuador debates easing abortion law in rape cases (Reuters)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Gabriela doesn't remember when she was raped, because she was passed out when it happened. The 27-year-old Ecuadorian psychology student had been taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills on a regular basis. One night, when staying at a friend's house, she took the usual combination that "makes me not feel a thing," she …

Indigenous group sues Ecuador for earmarking its land for oil drilling (Mongabay)

PUYO, Ecuador — An indigenous community in Ecuador has filed a lawsuit against the government for failing to consult with it before putting its territory up for sale to the oil industry. The Waorani community announced the lawsuit Feb. 27 with a historic march through the city of Puyo, capital of the Amazon province of …