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 …

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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 …

Time to shift focus to existing environmental laws, says new UN report (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR - The most important thing we can do to address climate change isn’t to create new regulations, but ensure that countries comply with the regulations that already exist. That’s according to the first ever report on environmental policies worldwide, released by the UN on Jan. 24. The report concludes that environmental concerns have …

Rock icon Roger Waters denounces Chevron in Ecuador (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR – Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters took a break from his South America-Mexico tour on Tuesday to visit Ecuador and denounce oil giant Chevron Texaco. Rogers said he wanted to draw attention to cleanup in the Amazon Rainforest the company was ordered to carry out by a judge in Ecuador, who also …

Live News Spot. Ecuador’s new policy for Venezuelans crossing the border (TRT World)

My first live TV news spot. I spoke with TRT World about Ecuador enforcing their new policy for Venezuelans trying to cross the border, now requiring their passports. This was put into effect Saturday, Aug 18 and is going to make things a whole lot worse for a lot of people before it makes things …

Community vs. company: A tiny town in Ecuador battles a palm oil giant (Mongabay)

WIMBI, ECUADOR - When Yessenia Padilla heard that her community crops were being destroyed, she and about 70 of her neighbors rushed out to intervene. They grabbed large boards, rocks, the machetes they use to harvest their fields, and took off yelling. She said that when they arrived, they saw workers from the oil palm …

When the “Cure” for Homosexuality Is Torture (In These Times)

QUITO, ECUADOR - When Donato Sanchez, a transgender man, walked into a “gay rehab” clinic for the first time, he didn’t know he was going to stay. His father had convinced him to “check out the facilities,” nothing more. Sanchez had been told that if he chose to enter the clinic, it would “be of …