BY ALFREDO VITERY GUALINGA FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
Throughout history, colonialism has taken many forms. First, it manifested in religious missionaries then rubber companies, and, finally, in oil companies. Today, under the guise of their so-called green agendas, environmental NGOs continue the oppressive legacy of their predecessors. In this case, the aim of their self-proclaimed green capital is to appropriate our ancestral territories in order to sell carbon credits. In this scheme, the commodification of the Amazon’s forests has become a new attempt to divide Indigenous organizations. Faced with this new threat, one viable solution is to bet on the self-determination of the communitarian society of the Sumak Kawsay.
BY PABLO ORTIZ-T. FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
From the first contact with the Western world, the Siekopai have had to resist and fight for their territories and lives. The Amazonian people are affected by the expansion of the oil frontier, the monoculture of African palm, the invasion of settlers, forced displacements, and the contamination of their food sources. These people, who suffered division through the borders created by the States of Peru and Ecuador, now fight against extractivists in a Justice system and a State that does not guarantee their rights to their ancestral territory.
BY MARIANA YUMBAY FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
The 2008 Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador establishes Ecuador as a plurinational and intercultural country. One of the most important areas of progress has been that of recognizing Indigenous justice systems to resolve conflicts in their own territories when they affect basic principles such as ama llulla, ama killa, ama shwa and ranti ranti. Taking their own customs, law and socio-economic situation into consideration, sanctions other than imprisonment are imposed. Nevertheless, while the two justice systems should be hierarchically equal, the ordinary justice system in practice limits the powers of the Indigenous authorities while at the same time depriving more than 600 Indigenous people of their freedom.
Indigenous Assembly. Photo: API