Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon – CONFENIAE Parliament of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon Open Letter to the President of the Republic and the Ecuadorian Citizenry CONFENIAE Statement Regarding the Presidential Decree No. 1247 about the “Regulation for the Execution of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent in the Process of Tendering and Assigning Hydrocarbons Areas and Blocks” CONFENIAE having considered that: The Amazonian nationalities and peoples have been disrespected in our rights and offended by the government’s attitude, with our organizational unity being threatened by maneuvers carried out by public entities. Indigenous peoples’ territories have been threatened and affected by their interests, putting at risk our lives, in addition to our materials and cultural survival, while also putting at risk the rights of nature. Our leaders and the defenders of our rights have been unjustly persecuted and had legal charges brought against them, accused by the government of sabotage and terrorism. The constant violation of indigenous nationalities and peoples by public policies and the expansion of the extractive frontier, has put us in a situation of confrontation with the rest of the Ecuadorian people, given we have been labeled as a threat to national development. The government has grasped onto one extractivist model of development, without suggesting any alternatives and without recognizing the traditional life styles and initiatives that originate with the indigenous peoples’ organizations, like the “Kawsak Sacha – Live Jungles” initiative. Express: Our greeting, and we praise the sentence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Sarayaku vs. Ecuador, that provides evidence of the way in which the State has affected human rights of the Sarayaku People, and how the State’s actions have violated the Constitution and current international conventions That the Executive Decree No. 1247 which expedites the “regulations for the execution of free, prior, and informed consent in the process of tendering and assigning hydrocarbons areas and blocks,” lacks validity because it once again returns to violating the Constitution and international conventions for having been issued in an un-consulted manner. That consultation is obligatory for the State. The laws, programs, and projects, the exploitation of natural resources, and all governmental decision-making that will affect indigenous rights should be consulted with the objective of obtaining consent. That consultation should be a prior process and absent of any form of manipulation or bad faith. The United Nations Declaration refers to consultation, participation, and free, prior, and informed consent as fundamental and transversal rights for indigenous peoples.
As such and upholding the jurisprudence of Inter-American Court of Human Rights through the sentence it just issued in favor of Sarayaku, we would like say to the national government that it is once again violating the rights of indigenous peoples because without having carried out the due processes of consultation and consent it is initiating the socialization of the 11th Round oil auction in the provinces of Pastaza and Morona Santiago, disregarding the resolutions that we have taken within our exercise of self-determination. These state the following: “We demand respect for the proposal of the Indigenous Nationalities of Orellana, Pastaza, and Morona Santiago for a moratorium in perpetuity of oil activity in our territories out of respect for our cosmo-vision, our collective rights, and the rights of nature.” Similarly, we express our opposition to other policies being implemented in a similarly un-consulted manner – SocioBosque and REDD – that they are working to implant in our ancestral territories. Given all this, we declare ourselves in a state of permanent alert to defend our rights to territory, to consultation and to all forms of expression. We will be vigilant and active to demand the compliance with the sentence of the Inter-American Court in the Sarayaku case. We declare Executive Decree 1247 to be unconstitutional and we will continue with national legal actions given it wasn’t consulted with indigenous nationalities and people. And we reject the illegal implementation of socialization around the 11th Round oil auction within our territories for not having complied with the Constitution and international conventions. We demand that it be suspended immediately. Human rights are not a favor of the government! Baños, July 26th 2012 Sign by: Franco Viteri, President of Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador CONFENIAE Jaime Vargas, President of the Achuar Nationality of Ecuador Cristóbal Jimpikit, President of the Shuar Nationality of Pastaza Fernando Santi, President of the Shiwiar Nationality of Ecuador José Gualinga, President of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku Jeremias Petsein, General coordinator binational Achuar Marco Montaguano, Nation Sapara Manuel Maiche, President of the Nation Shuar of Ecuador Eddy Timas, President of the Federation Shuar of Sucumbios Yuli Villarraga, Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin Mauricio Paqui, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador