Open Letter to the President of the Republic and Ecuadorian Citizens
On Capitalistic Oil Extraction, Sumak Kawsay, and the State of the Sapara Nation
The Ministry of Hydrocarbons has disrespected the internationally recognized rights of indigenous peoples in its actions towards the Sapara Nation of Ecuador.
On August 30, 73 delegates representing Sapara communities held an assembly and democratically voted to reject all oil activities in Sapara territories. Next month, the Ministry of Hydrocarbons will carry out oil exploration in Sapara territory, directly violating the Sapara’s rights to self-determination.
The Sapara Nation of Ecuador was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001. The new oil boom will have a direct impact on Sapara territory, threatening the Sapara’s integrity, life, and culture. The Ministry of Hydrocarbon’s presence in Sapara territory is already causing social divisions.
Furthermore, oil exploration violates the Rights of Nature as enshrined in the 2008 Ecuadorian Constitution.
We demand respect for our rights as enshrined in our constitution and international treaties. Furthermore, we warn the Secretary of Hydrocarbons that Executive Order 1247, which issues the implementation of free, prior, and informed “consultation” in areas that the government has already decided to convert into oil blocks, is illegal and unconstitutional. Furthermore, the Secretary of Hydrocarbons has not held consultations with the democratically elected Governing Council of the Sapara Nation of Ecuador, therefore disrespecting our nation’s traditional government structures.