Tag Archives: Ecuador

Oil exploitation is threatening the Ecuadorian rainforest – and the planet

‘No to Block 28!’ Indigenous and peasant communities are fighting to protect nature and their way of life in a remote corner of the Amazon

By Andrés Tapia.  Published 4-21-2021 by openDemocracy

Clear water coming down from the ‘blue mountains’ in Pastaza, Ecuador | Andrés Tapis

 

I grew up in the Ecuadorian countryside. My first memories are from around 1990, when my family and I were living on a 28-hectare farm, a pioneering conservation project in the tropical rainforest.

Often, I would sit with my sister on the front steps of our house, gazing at the “blue mountains”. It was my father who coined that phrase, after their distinctive colouration. Decades later, while studying field biology at university, I learned that these were the subtropical Andes. Specifically, the Abitahua Protected Forest of the Llanganates Sangay Ecological Corridor, a transition area (also known as an ecotone) that connects the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes with the Amazonian lowlands. Continue reading

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Federal agents sent to Kenosha, but history shows militarized policing in cities can escalate violence and trigger conflict

Sending in the feds to quell unrest often increases conflict on the ground, as it did this summer in Portland, Ore. Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Angélica Durán-Martínez, University of Massachusetts Lowell

The U.S. Justice Department has dispatched federal agents and U.S. marshals to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where a police shooting left an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, paralyzed. The Aug. 23 shooting triggered fury, protest and nights of deadly conflict.

Kenosha is the latest city to see federal intervention in demonstrations against police violence. Citing its responsibility to stop “violent anarchists rioting in the streets,” the Trump administration sent armed Justice Department agents to Portland and Seattle in July. In May, after the police killing of George Floyd, it deployed National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. Continue reading

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In European First, Proposed Constitutional Amendment in Sweden Would Enshrine Rights of Nature

“When we’re in the beginning of an ecological and climate collapse,” said the lawmaker who introduced the measure, “I hope we can re-think our relationship with Nature.”

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-8-2019

Pine forest in Sweden. The proposed amendment to Sweden’s Instrument of Government would secure the Rights of Nature to “existera, blomstra, regenerera och utvecklas”—which translates as “exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve”—in order to provide the people and government of Sweden the ability to defend and enforce these rights on behalf of Nature. (Photo: Peter Lesseur / EyeEm/ iStock)

Heralded as the first of its kind in Europe, a proposed constitutional amendment in Sweden seeks to enshrine the rights of Nature to ensure that the creatures, fona, and features of the natural world are protected from exploitation and abuse by endowing them with legal status previously reserved only for humans and select animals.

The proposed amendment to Sweden’s Instrument of Government, the nation’s constitutional document, would secure the Rights of Nature to “existera, blomstra, regenerera och utvecklas”—which translates as “exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve”—in order to provide the people and government of Sweden the ability to defend and enforce these rights on behalf of Nature. Continue reading

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Proposal to ‘Pave Paradise’ in Galapagos Islands for US Military Airstrip Met With Criticism in Ecuador and Beyond

“Galapagos is NOT an ‘aircraft carrier’ for gringo use.”

By Eoin Higgins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-17-2019

A Galapagos fur seal. he seal will share its environment with the Pentagon per a new plan from the Ecuadorian government that would extend a landing strip at the region’s airport to accommodate U.S. military aircraft. Photo: D. Gordon E. Robertson [CC]

The Galapagos Islands archipelago in Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse regions in the entire world, home to a number of species found nowhere else on the planet, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

So, naturally, the U.S. military wants to use one of its islands as an airstrip Continue reading

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Fighting Resolution to Restrict Baby Formula Sales and Promote Breastfeeding, Trump Officials Threatened Funding Cuts

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-8-2018

As baby formula sales have gone down in welathy countries in recent years, the baby food industry has targeted developing countries with marketing campaigns. A UN resolution passed this spring—despite pushback from the U.S.—aimed to promote breastfeeding around the world. (Photo: USAID/Flickr/cc)

International delegates to the United Nation’s World Health Assembly looked on at the group’s recent meeting, as U.S. representatives appeared to put the interests of the $70 billion baby food industry ahead of those of parents and children—and pressured other countries to do the same.

The New York Times reported Sunday that American officials, led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, attempted to strongarm Ecuadorean delegates out of introducing a resolution to encourage and support breastfeeding and urge governments to restrict misleading marketing claims about baby formula.  Continue reading

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After Canadian Court Ruling, Has Law ‘Finally Caught Up With Chevron’?

Decision is ‘the beginning of the end of Chevron’s abusive and obstructionist litigation strategy,’ says Ecuadorian activist

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-4-2015

"Chevron's deliberate dumping of 18 billion gallons of toxic waste water and 17 million gallons of crude into the Ecuadorian Amazon created a massive health crisis and remains one of the worst oil-related environmental crimes in history," Amazon Watch said on Friday. (Photo: Rainforest Action Network/flickr/cc)

“Chevron’s deliberate dumping of 18 billion gallons of toxic waste water and 17 million gallons of crude into the Ecuadorian Amazon created a massive health crisis and remains one of the worst oil-related environmental crimes in history,” Amazon Watch said on Friday. (Photo: Rainforest Action Network/flickr/cc)

In a unanimous ruling hailed as “a major victory for human rights and corporate accountability,” the Canadian Supreme Court declared on Friday that a group of Ecuadorian villagers can pursue a multi-billion pollution lawsuit against oil giant Chevron in the province of Ontario.

“The law has finally caught up with Chevron,” the nonprofit Amazon Watch said in a press statement.

As a result of the ruling, the Ecuadorian villagers may now continue with a 2012 lawsuit they launched against Chevron’s Canadian subsidiary in Ontario. They claim Chevron’s activities have caused “horrific contamination”—and an Ecuadorian court agreed, ruling in 2011 that Chevron should pay $9.5 billion for the destruction it caused.  Continue reading

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Chevron Whistleblower Leaks ‘Smoking Gun’ in Case of Ecuadorian Oil Spill

Videos sent to Amazon Watch described as ‘a true treasure trove of Chevron misdeeds and corporate malfeasance’

'The videos are a true treasure trove of Chevron misdeeds and corporate malfeasance,' said Kevin Koenig of Amazon Watch. 'And, ironically, Chevron itself proved their authenticity.' (Screenshot from The Chevron Tapes)

‘The videos are a true treasure trove of Chevron misdeeds and corporate malfeasance,’ said Kevin Koenig of Amazon Watch. ‘And, ironically, Chevron itself proved their authenticity.’ (Screenshot from The Chevron Tapes)

Written by Lauren McCauley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published April 8, 2015.

In what is being described as “smoking gun evidence” of Chevron’s complete guilt and corruption in the case of an oil spill in the Ecuadorian Amazon, internal videos leaked to an environmental watchdog show company technicians finding and then mocking the extensive oil contamination in areas that the oil giant told courts had been restored.

A Chevron whistleblower reportedly sent “dozens of DVDs” to U.S.-based Amazon Watch with a handwritten note stating: “I hope this is useful for you in your trial against Texaco/Chevron. [signed] A Friend from Chevron.” Continue reading

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