Rights of Nature – Amazon Rainforest Wisdom Immersion

An Invitation to Journey With Us, January 2014

Amazon forestThe fundamental principles encapsulated by Rights of Nature ─ of Mother Earth ─ are deeply rooted in the ancient wisdom of indigenous peoples. The Achuar and Kichwa peoples of the Upper Amazon of Ecuador maintain their ancient traditions living in harmony with their rainforest home.  It is no accident that in 2008 Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize Rights of Nature in its Constitution.

We are extending a special invitation to Rights of Nature, Rights of Mother Earth advocates and individuals who are looking to understand the essence of the movement on a deeper, more personal level.  Join us on a rare opportunity to travel with global Rights of Nature leaders: Cormac Cullinan, South African environmental attorney and author of Wild Law, Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network and Robin Milam, Administrative Director for Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, on an intimate rainforest immersion journey.  We travel at the invitation of the indigenous peoples of the upper Amazon in partnership with The Pachamama Alliance. This unique journey is an opportunity to experience the Rights of Nature movement at its source while visiting with indigenous peoples in their ancestral rainforest homes.

Tiinkias eyes We will visit the iconic Kichwa community of Sarayaku and Achuar communities around the remote Kapawi Lodge. These communities have taken bold, internationally acclaimed stands to protect their rainforest home and preserve their ability to live in harmony with nature.  Throughout our journey, we will engage in a multi-faceted examination of our relationship with the natural world, the recognition of Rights of Nature, and what it means personally, as a society, and globally to restore our natural balance with Mother Earth, Pachamama and all life.

Each of us has unique gifts that are indispensable to the success of humanity at this time of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. You’ll return from your Journey with greater awareness of these very gifts and how to use them to make a difference, having been freshly recalibrated to the rhythms of the natural world. Join us on what is surely to be a life altering journey.

Learn more about our itinerary and overall journey on Pachamama’s website at: http://www.pachamama.org/pachamama-journeys/2014-journey-dates/january-17-to-january-28-2014.

huazin at KapawiThe Pachamama Alliance and its sister organization, Fundación Pachamama supported the inclusion of Rights of Nature in Ecuador’s Constitution and are founding members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.

Journey Leader, Robin Milam first journeyed to the rainforest with Pachamama in 1997 and has been leading Pachamama Journeys for many years.  Participants have claimed “this is a journey of many lifetimes“.

Interested? Contact Robin at nature@therightsofnature.org or the Pachamama Journeys team and explore what this journey could be for you.

Stories from Around the World

We invite you to share your stories about Rights of Nature. Tell us examples of how rights of nature are being recognized in your community or around the world.

Please enter your story as a comment.  We reserve the right to edit stories out of respect for our broader earth community.

Rights of Nature Tribunal Press Conference at UNFCCC COP20 in Lima

The prominent International Tribunal issues verdicts on 12 cases of violations to nature and communities

The Tribunal finds corporations, United Nations and governments guilty of violating nature’s rights. Watch the Press conference at http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop20/events/2014-12-09-14-00-amazon-watch

UNFCCC Press Conference video link

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At a UNFCCC Press Conference Osprey Orielle Lake (USA), Pablo Solon (Bolivia), Tom BK Goldtooth (Indigenous, Turtle Island, USA), Atossa Soltani (USA) and Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria) report out results of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal. Watch the Press conference at http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop20/events/2014-12-09-14-00-amazon-watch.

Osprey Orielle Lake, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, provides a summary of the 12 cases heard and resulting decisions by the Rights of Nature Tribunal convened December 5-6, 2014.  Highlighting that current legal systems recognize Nature as property without rights recognized within the law, Ms Lake reported the Tribunal concluded “we need to change the DNA of legal systems in order to recognize Rights of Nature ~ Rights of Mother Earth.  The Tribunal examined egregious violations to rights of Nature and repeated violations to Defenders of the Earth. The Lima Tribunal was dedicated to Jose Tendetza, Shuar leader from the rich bio-diverse  Condor Mine region of Ecuador who was found murdered just days before he was scheduled to present the Condor Mine Case to the Tribunal and in Lima.

Pablo Solon was lead presenter of the case addressing Climate Change and False Solutions.  “Climate Change represents systemic violations to the Rights of Nature.  Key responsible parties are governments, transnational corporations, the UN system, and the capitalist system.  Presenters requested the Tribunal to go deep into the analysis.  Extractive industries of oil, gas and coal don’t want to leave fossil fuels in the ground. It is not a problem of emission cuts, it is MUCH bigger.  It is a problem of extraction and this issue is not even being discussed here [at the UN COP.]  For us it is key to discuss the structural causes of climate change.  It is not only about emission cuts, it is about patterns of consumption, patterns of production, and the logic of capital.  Why all the economies want to grow and grow forever, even beyond the limits of the earth systems? That is not needed for humanity but that is needed for capital.  Capital that does not grow, that does not get more profit, is capital that is displaced from the market.  If we are not able to move away from this logic of capital, we are not going to be able to address climate change. That is why for us, in order to preserve the Rights of Mother Earth we need to clearly address these four key factors.”

Tom Goldtooth served as judge to hear the case of REDD and Forests to determine whether REDD and REDD type projects violate the Rights of Mother Earth. “We heard from experts that REDD [Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation] is a global initiate to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests to compensate governments and companies or owners of forests in developing countries, not to cut  the carbon rich forests or to reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation as a market mechanism to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.  REDD+ expands REDD to develop methods of for carbon sequestration … in developing countries.

Indigenous peoples throughout the Tribunal consistently provided a foundation for the Tribunal understanding that climate solutions have to embrace the human relationship and responsibility and duty of humanity to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth, nature, Pachamama and the concept of Father Sky.  The Indigenous Peoples stated that they have natural laws of nature that have been developed since the beginning of time that allow them to live in harmony with nature.  From the testimony it is clear that REDD and related regimes such as carbon trading, carbon cycling, demonstrate that REDD projects inherently violate the rights of Mother Earth.  The Tribunal recommended the case be extended to receive additional testimony from experts and witnesses.

Atossa Soltani spoke of the violations of the Belo Monte Dam to nature, the Amazon Basin and the Indigenous Peoples impacted.  The dam is 7 km long and 70 meters high.  While the dam is promoted by the Brazil government as “clean energy”, the dams actually generate significant levels of methane that is 50x more potent than C)2.  Furthermore, the Belo Monte is only one of a number of dams being proposed. There have been 22 law suits that have been presented against the dam but these suits have gone no where.  The Brazilian government is disregarding these suits as well as other rulings.  Not only the rights of nature are being violated but also the rights of Indigenous Peoples and their livelihood because of the impact to the environment, fish and food sources are being impacted.  The Tribunal recommended that a special session be held in Brazil to present more evidence and to look had what parties are responsible for the violations including the government, mining consortiums, banking industry, and others.

Nnimmo Bassey noted that before he left Nigeria his temperature was checked twice.  Had his temperature been elevated by 0.8 degrees Celsius, he would have been quarantined and not allowed to leave the country.  Now at the COP we are talking about the temperature of the earth going beyond 1 or 2 degrees. It means that the earth is suffering from high fever. But we cannot quarantine the planet.  We need to quarantine the transnational corporations and those responsible for this temperature increase. These are the issues the Rights of Nature Tribunal brought forth.  This is a crime against nature.

UNFCCC Rights of Nature Press Conference video link

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Prominent International Tribunal issues verdicts on 12 cases of violations to nature and communities

Panel finds corporations, United Nations and governments guilty of violating nature’s rights.

Alberto Acosta, President of the distinguished Tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador, led the 13 judges through 12 cases presented on the 5th and 6th of December in the Gran Hotel Bolivar in Lima. The Tribunal determined to expand the evidence, and even establish international commissions and special sessions.

“This permanent ethical tribunal is a call to humanity to encounter nature. This body arises when States fail to fulfill their obligation to preserve the lives of living beings, said Acosta. The judgments have been rendered having as a legal framework the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. “The rights of nature must have a universal validity,” he said. As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, or nature.

The 12 cases heard demonstrate egregious violations to rights of nature and human rights. The Tribunal was dedicated to Shuar leader José Tendentza who was found murdered just days before the Tribunal. Tendentza of Southern Ecuador was scheduled to present the Condor Mine case to the Tribunal. Cases included:

  • False Solutions related to Climate Change and REDD+;
  • Peruvian cases: Conga Mine, Bagua Massacre – Defenders of Earth, 4 River Basins of Peru;
  • Ecuadorian cases: Condor Mine, Chevron/Texaco, and Yasuni ITT
  • Brazil: Belo Monte Dam
  • USA and Bolivia: Hydraulic fracturing “fracking”
  • Oceans: BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, coal mine and other threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

The distinguished panel of judges included: Alberto Acosta, economist and former President of the Constituent Assembly from Quito, Ecuador; Verónica Mendoza, Peru Congress member, representative of the region of Cusco; Raúl Prada Alcoreza, philosopher, sociologist, author, former member of the Bolivian Constituent Assembly of 2006-2007, Bolivia; Hugo Blanco director of the monthly publication “Lucha Indígena”, Perú; Tantoo Cardinal, actress (e.g., Dances with Wolves) and activist from the Tar Sands of Canada; Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador; Edgardo Lander, sociologist, professor, from Venezuela; Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network from MN, USA; Francios Houtart, professor, philosopher, theologian, member of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, Belgium; Osprey Orielle Lake, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network, USA; Rocío Silva Santiesteban, National Human Rights Coordinator, author, professor, Perú; Atossa Soltani, founder and Executive Director of Amazon Watch, USA; and Terissa Turner, professor Sociology and Anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist, Canada.

Ramiro Avila, environmental attorney form Ecuador, served as Prosecutor for the Earth.  Natalia Greene and Robin Milam, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, served as Secretariat.

Watch the Press conference at http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop20/events/2014-12-09-14-00-amazon-watch

REDD on trial: No justice as long as nature is property in law

REDD on trial: “As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature”

By Chris Lang of REDD Monitor. Full article at REDD on Trial
2014-12-11-151422_1131x978_scrotThe International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature took place on 5 and 6 December 2014 in Lima. On trial were corporations, the United Nations, and government. Cases included mining in Peru and Ecuador, oil extraction in Ecuador, the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, fracking in Bolivia and the USA, BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, damage to the Australian Barrier Reef. And REDD.

The judges referred to the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, from the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2010.

The president of the tribunal was Alberto Acosta, former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador. Acosta said,

“As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature.”

The case against REDD at the Tribunal is explained here:

REDD (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is a global initiative to create a financial value for the carbon stored in native forests and tree plantations, soils and agriculture, including plankton and algae in the oceans. This involves the opening of the carbon cycling capacity of the Earth to economic valuation and trading in financial market systems. Indigenous peoples, forest dwellers, small farmers and peasants view REDD as a false solution for mitigating climate change that have resulted in land grabs, evictions and human rights abuses. REDD is inherently about commodifying and privatizing air, trees and land by selling nature and air to generate permits to pollute. These permits to pollute also known as carbon or emission credits are used by polluters to avoid reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source. This Tribunal on REDD and forests will listen to testimonies on the concern of REDD and other carbon and emissions trading and offset regimes violating the rights established in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

Mary Lou Malig of the Global Forest Coalition spoke against carbon markets:

“[They’re] basically a mechanism to cheat. It’s about enabling you to pollute. Instead of cutting your emissions, you increase them and pretend to reduce by offsetting.”

Ninawa Kaxinawá, president of the Huni Kui people in Acre, Brazil spoke out against REDD. “Nature has no price. It’s our forest, it’s our food, it’s our spirit.”

In an interview with Democracy Now, Ninawa explains that REDD prevents communities from fishing on their own land and from practising agriculture. He says that, “leaders are being criminalized for opposing the project, and communities are told that the services provided for education or transportation or healthcare will be suspended if they oppose the project.” Ninawa has received death threats for opposing REDD.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now asked Ninawa how REDD affects his community. Here’s his reply:

The first impact is that the state of Acre is one of the first states in the world that is promoting REDD, and it is the first state of the Brazilian Amazon that is doing REDD. And it has already violated Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, which guarantees indigenous people’s right to free, prior, informed consent and the right to say no to projects that affect us. So, Brazil is violating Convention 169, because indigenous peoples have not been consulted about REDD and it is moving forward.

The second impact of REDD is that it has divided indigenous leaders, who before were united to defend the territories and Mother Earth.

A third impact of REDD is that it has resulted in the co-optation of some leaders who have accepted money and bought cars with that money, and they don’t even know where that money is from and what it means.

Another impact is that the government of Brazil, because it is opening its doors to this carbon-offset mechanism, is that it’s gutting the laws and the legal framework on indigenous people’s rights and the guarantees that have been enshrined to protect our rights to our territories.

You can watch the full interview at http://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/12/11/redd-on-trial-as-long-as-nature-is-seen-as-property-in-law-there-can-be-no-justice-for-communities-the-climate-or-nature/

Nati Greene with Tom Goldtooth on Tribunal Outcomes

Tom Goldtooth of IEN interviews Natalia Greene, Secretariat, on the outcomes of the Rights of Nature Tribunal in Lima Peru December 2014.  Nati stated, “I did not expect to be so touched…”

Tribunal verdicts on violation of rights of people and nature

Press Release – International Rights of Nature Tribunal Day 2

Global Alliance for the Rights of NatureLima, Peru
December 6, 2014

  • Tribunal sentences States and transnational corporations for the violation of rights of people and nature
  • The International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature judged twelve international and domestic cases.

Alberto Acosta, president of the Tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador, and the panel of 13 judges decided to admit, expand and solve 12 cases. In all of them, the Tribunal identified the violation of the rights of peoples and nature.  The cases were presented on the 5th and 6th of December in the Gran Hotel Bolivar in Lima.   The Tribunal determined to expand the evidence, and even establish international commissions and special sessions.

The judgments have been rendered having as a legal frame the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. “The rights of nature must have a universal validity,” he said.

The Tribunal has condemned Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador for using “inappropriate technology and causing irreversible damage”. It urges the corporation to proceed to a full compensation of the area, and accuses the State for allowing this exploitation. The Peruvian case of Conga was accepted and it was determined to appoint an international special commission to visit the area to collect more information. For the contamination in the four Amazonian basins (block 192), the Tribunal called for the creation of a special session in Peru for the case to be judged; that same judgment was rendered in the case of Bagua in Peru. After the concurring opinion of the judges, all Peruvian cases were accepted as threats of violation to the rights of nature.

On climate change, evidence of the broad range of violations to rights of nature which are contributing to climate change and exposure of false solutions including geoengineering were presented. The Tribunal is calling for a special hearing in Paris in 2015 to coincide with the upcoming UN COP 21 summit. The Tribunal also considers it necessary to express to the UN its concern about a scenario that includes the use of high-risk energy. Also, the government of Queensland, Australia was convicted for violating the rights of the nature of the Great Barrier Reef.

Oil exploitation in the Yasuni was also convicted through the ratification of the two previous judgments, and the popular initiative promoted by the group of Yasunidos was supported. The Tribunal also condemned the constant persecution of this group. Another case that was judged was the mining project in the Cordillera del Condor. The Tribunal determined that it is essential to suspend mining, compensate those affected; and urged the State to investigate and punish those responsible for the death of José Tendentza. In commemoration of this social activist, the Tribunal held in Lima will bear his name.

‘Baguazo’

On Saturday, the Tribunal opened a hearing on the case of Bagua, of which five years after it started, 52 indigenous leaders have cases filed against them. Ismael Vega, anthropologist from the Centro Amazónico de Antropología y Ampliación Práctica (CAAAP) called the ‘Baguazo’ an “emblematic case”, because according to the expert, since this case could happen again if existing policies and conditions are not modified. “Bagua makes visible the mismatch between the indigenous population and the state. This lack of dialogue still exists” sentenced Vega.

Miguel Jugo, from the National Coordinator of Human Rights, mentioned the context that motivated the protests. The “Law of the Jungle” refers to the application of ten legislative norms and laws under the context of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and the USA, laws that dealt with the lives of indigenous peoples. As a result, in 2008 began the protests of the Amazonian indigenous peoples, which were confronted by government forces. Jugo alleged irregularities surrounding the trial of the indigenous people, “the judgment is contrary to the Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the preliminary investigation was even conducted without translators”. Jugo added, “There is no evidence against the 52 processed people”.

‘Fracking’

“You cannot do safe hydraulic fracking. This technique should have never been invented. It is one of the most destructive activities against the environment ever seen,” said Shannon Biggs blunt, director of Movement Rights. The American specialist says there are 800,000 active oil and gas wells in this country, and about 300,000 natural gas barrels produced per day. Biggs alerted about the water pollution due to chemicals used, as a result of using this technique. It also highlights that fracking causes earthquakes in areas that had never experienced this phenomenon. Camp Casey, American Indian from Oklahoma, laments: “We die for the use of fracking. The population is suffering from cancer; my sister has died. The water is contaminated; we cannot fish. We are in danger of extinction. ”

From Bolivia, plans to develop large-scale hydraulic fracking on their soil were also reported. In recent years the country has increased the production and export of natural gas; during the years 2000-2012 it increased by 382.6%. However, it exports 82.4% of its production. Also, the export of this hydrocarbon generates more than six billion dollars a year, as reported by the specialist Martin Vilela, Platform Climate Reaction.

Bolivia has 8.23 trillion cubic feet of gas, and YPFB plans to invest 40,670 million between 2013 and 2015. Vilela explained that in 2013 this corporation signed an agreement for fracking in the Chaco area, a region with water scarcity. If it starts, the extraction of 48 trillion cubic feet of shale gas would consume between 112 and 335 billion liters of water.

False solutions to climate change and REDD

The Tribunal heard two related cases, one on climate change and its false solutions and one on the mechanisms for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +). In the case of climate change, the case of contamination and temperature rise affecting Nigeria was exposed. The African continent has oil fields and pipelines that have caused a deep environmental degradation, deforestation, and countless oil spills, among others. This deplorable living conditions have caused life expectancy in this area is 44 years.

Added to this, the ravages of climate change may have catastrophic consequences. Activist Nnimmo Bassey says: “For every degree the temperature rises globally, in Africa, it will increase an additional 50%”. In 2012 floods in Nigeria led to the relocation of 6 million inhabitants. The activist says that in 2030 Africa violent conflicts will increase by 54% due to the lack of access to natural resources.

At the hearing against false solutions, geoengineering techniques that seek to manipulate climate without changing the conditions that cause climate change were reported.

REDD+ was also put on trial. In Brazil the existence of this mechanism is very present. The Ninawa Apu complaint saying: “REDD presents a liar proposal. We do not accept to market nature because it is our soul and spirit; it is priceless, it is our voice. ”

Ruth Nyambura, environmentalist from Biodiversity Network Africa, says that in Kenya, as a result of REDD, evictions occur: “Four indigenous people were arrested and a woman was hit by the forest service because she was outside of her land.”

The Australian Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral system. It is the largest structure made by living organisms and can be seen from space. It was listed as a World Heritage site in 1981 by UNESCO, and UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee warned the Australian Government in 2012 that this unique natural system is being threatened by escalating industrial developments, including the expansion of ports for exporting coal. Dr Erin Fitz-Henry, from the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, condemned the violation of rights of the Great Barrier Reef, and stressed the great biodiversity that could be destroyed: “This reef is composed of more than 600 types of coral and thousands of species of marine life. The Tribunal issued a final judgment in this case.

Oil exploitation of Yasuni

Since 2013, the Ecuadorian government allowed oil drilling in Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, home to 2 indigenous nationalities in voluntary isolation.

The fact provoked a group of young (Yasunidos) to join and protest and claim for the rights of nature which are guaranteed in the Constitution of Ecuador. Yasunidos collected more than 800,000 signatures to call for a referendum about oil exploitation in the Yasuni; but the request was rejected because the electoral institutions invalidated fraudulently more than 60% of the signatures.

For all of these events, Yasunidos has sued the Ecuadorian government, led by President Rafael Correa, before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and are awaiting for their complaint to reach the Tribunal.

Tribunal Denounces Violations to Rights of Nature

Press Release – International Rights of Nature Tribunal Day 1

Lima, December 6th, 2014-12-06

  • Indigenous peoples represent nature and denounce violations to indigenous rights and  rights of nature perpetuated by States and transnational corporations.
  • Native peoples warn the world about corporate impunity.

During the first day of the  International Rights of Nature  Tribunal six cases were presented: four Amazonian river basins in Loreto; BP; Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Chevron/Texaco in Ecuador; Conga Mine of Peru; Belo Monte in Brazil and Condor Mirador in Ecuador. Transnational corporations and States are under scrutiny by the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature which is being held in Lima, Friday December 5 – Saturday December 6. Cases of national and international importance are being heard to present the violations of the rights of nature and indigenous rights within the framework of the COP20 in Lima.

“This permanent ethical Tribunal is a call to humanity to get close to nature. The cases have been created when States fail to fulfill their obligation to preserve the lives of living beings,” said Alberto Acosta, President of the Tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador.

Peruvian Cases: Conga and Pluspetrol (4 river basins)

“Yanacocha in Cajamarca is a deep wound on Mother Earth,” lamented Milton Sanchez from the Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendín. Sanchez told the audience about the whole trajectory of contamination at Yanacocha. Also, the environmentalist denounced that this project will destroy water sources in the region.

“85,000 tons of toxic sludge per day will be poured for 17 years” he said. Milton condemed President Humala for failing to meet his promise to ensure the right to water of communities. José de Echave, director of CooperAcción, said that free, prior, and informed consent was not done with the inhabitants, despite the Consultation Law. He further stressed that the Environmental Impact Assessment presented was “inconsistent, incomplete and violated national standards.”

Regarding the case of block 192 in the Loreto jungle, José Fachín represented the Pastaza basin. He told the Tribunal that a year ago he was imprisoned, tortured and judicialized. He affirms that “for over forty years, the oil industry has caused the death of humans and animals.” Although the state has declared a state of Emergency, he denounced the Government’s and Pluspetrol’s lack of action. He demands to sanction Pluspetrol and to determine the State’s responsibilities for not protecting their rights and the rights of nature.

Ecuadorian cases: Condor Mirador and Chevron-Texaco

The Condor Highland is crossed by a series of large scale mining projects, such as Condor Mirador. Luis Corral, defender of human and nature rights, said that this case violates collective and nature rights. He denounced the murder of the social activist, José Tendentza, who was summoned to attend the Tribunal as a witness for this case. The Shuar leader, Ankuash, condemned this project and declared, “Nature and humans are allies, if one disappears, the other does too.” Meanwhile, Narcisa Aucay, inhabitant of the region said, “they are not going to shut us down. We have been taught to live freely, with honor and dignity.”

Also presented in the Tribunal was the case of Chevron-Texaco that extracted oil since 1967 in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The corporation built 860 pools where toxic waste was dumped. Currently, there are more than 2,000 cases of cancer attributable to toxic waste dumped by the oil activity. Pablo Fajardo, lawyer for the Chevron victims concludes that “the case was won, but the Ecuadorian Amazon is not clean”; he also informed that Chevron does not accept the judgments for environmental remediation, so there is an affectation to the international rights.”

BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Case

Esperanza Martínez, from Oilwatch, presented the case of the oils spill in 2010 of the oil platform of the Gulf of Mexico that caused the spill of 5 millions of barrels of oil and the death of 11 workers. Martinez described the spill as the “worst in humanity’s lifetime” and de denounces the effect of millions of species that live in the ocean. She also informed the Tribunal that the cleaning mecanism used by the BP company that reduced oil particles that are now absorbed by the species. Brazilian case of Belo Monte The Tribunal also heard the BP case, the mega-dam built now up to 50% and that will become the third in the world. “The people’s food is being affected, fishing is no longer an option in the region. Nacionalities cannot drink their own water due to the hydroelectric activity” warned Sonia Guajajara.

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Press and Communications

Magali Zevallos 995197420

UNFCCC COP 20 Press Conference on International Rights of Nature Tribunal

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UNFCCC COP 20 NGO Press Conference
D – Press Conference Room 2
14:00 – 14:30pm 9 December 2014

Prominent International Tribunal issues verdicts on 12 cases of violations to nature and communities

Panel finds corporations, United Nations and governments guilty of violating nature’s rights.

Alberto Acosta, President of the distinguished Tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador, led the 13 judges through 12 cases presented on the 5th and 6th of December in the Gran Hotel Bolivar in Lima. The Tribunal determined to expand the evidence, and even establish international commissions and special sessions.

“This permanent ethical tribunal is a call to humanity to encounter nature. This body arises when States fail to fulfill their obligation to preserve the lives of living beings, said Acosta. The judgments have been rendered having as a legal framework the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. “The rights of nature must have a universal validity,” he said. As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, or nature.

The 12 cases heard demonstrate egregious violations to rights of nature and human rights. The Tribunal was dedicated to Shuar leader José Tendentza who was found murdered just days before the Tribunal. Tendentza of Southern Ecuador was scheduled to present the Condor Mine case to the Tribunal. Cases included:

  • False Solutions related to Climate Change and REDD+;
  • Peruvian cases: Conga Mine, Bagua Massacre – Defenders of Earth, 4 River Basins of Peru;
  • Ecuadorian cases: Condor Mine, Chevron/Texaco, and Yasuni ITT
  • Brazil: Belo Monte Dam
  • USA and Bolivia: Hydraulic fracturing “fracking”
  • Oceans: BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, coal mine and other threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Tribunal members and case experts presenting to members of the press include:

  • Nnimo Bassey, Nigeria
  • Pablo Solon, Bolivia
  • Atossa Soltani, US
  • Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous, Turtle Island, US
  • Osprey Orielle Lake, US

The distinguished panel of judges included: Alberto Acosta, economist and former President of the Constituent Assembly from Quito, Ecuador; Verónica Mendoza, Peru Congress member, representative of the region of Cusco; Raúl Prada Alcoreza, philosopher, sociologist, author, former member of the Bolivian Constituent Assembly of 2006-2007, Bolivia; Hugo Blanco director of the monthly publication “Lucha Indígena”, Perú; Tantoo Cardinal, actress (e.g., Dances with Wolves) and activist from the Tar Sands of Canada; Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador; Edgardo Lander, sociologist, professor, from Venezuela; Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network from MN, USA; Francios Houtart, professor, philosopher, theologian, member of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, Belgium; Osprey Orielle Lake, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network, USA; Rocío Silva Santiesteban, National Human Rights Coordinator, author, professor, Perú; Atossa Soltani, founder and Executive Director of Amazon Watch, USA; and Terissa Turner, professor Sociology and Anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist, Canada.

Ramiro Avila, environmental attorney form Ecuador, served as Prosecutor for the Earth.

Hosted by: Amazon Watch and The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

CONTACT: Osprey Orielle Lake, oolake@jps.net

Natalia Greene +593 (0) 99944-3724/nati.greene@gmail.com

Robin R. Milam +1.530.263-1483/Nature@TheRightsofNature.org

Additional information:

Press release from Day 2 of Tribunal deliberations: http://therightsofnature.org/ron-events/tribunal-verdicts-on-violations/

Press release from Day 1 Tribunal of deliberations: http://therightsofnature.org/ron-events/tribunal-denounces-violations-to-rights-of-nature/
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Comunicado de Prensa

CMNUCC COP 20 Conferencia de Prensa de ONG
D – Pulse la Sala 2
14:00-14:30 pm 09 de diciembre 2014

Importante Tribunal internacional emite veredictos sobre 12 casos de violaciones contra la naturaleza y contra las comunidades

Panel considera a las corporaciones, a las Naciones Unidas y a los gobiernos culpables de violar los derechos de la naturaleza

Alberto Acosta, presidente del Tribunal y expresidente de la Asamblea Constituyente del Ecuador, resolvió admitir, expandir y resolver los 12 casos, en todos ellos, se condenó la vulneración a los derechos de los pueblos y la naturaleza presentados el 5 y 6 de diciembre en el Gran Hotel Bolívar en Lima, y se determinó ampliar las evidencias, e incluso la conformación de sesiones especiales y comisiones internacionales.

“Este tribunal ético permanente es un llamado a la humanidad para encontrarnos con la Naturaleza. Esta instancia surge cuando los Estados no cumplen con su obligación de preservar la vida de los seres humanos”, afirma Alberto Acosta.

Las sentencias se han dictado teniendo como marco legal los Derechos de la Naturaleza y la Declaración Universal de los Derechos de la Madre Tierra. “Los derechos de la naturaleza tienen que tener una validez universal”, asevera. Mientras la naturaleza sea vista como propiedad ante la ley, no habrá justicia para las comunidades ni para la naturaleza.

Escuchar los resultados de los Derechos Internacionales de Tribunal Naturaleza que acaba de concluir, después de dos días de audiencias en Lima la semana pasada. Los 12 casos examinados demuestran violaciones flagrantes a los derechos de la naturaleza y derechos humanos.

Los 12 casos examinados demuestran violaciones flagrantes a los derechos de la naturaleza y los derechos humanos. Este Tribunal se lo dedicó al líder Shuar José Tendentza que fue encontrado asesinado pocos días antes de que el Tribunal al que iba a asistir para presentar el caso de la mina de Condor Mirador. Los casos incluyen:

  • Falsas Soluciones relacionadas con el cambio climático y REDD +;
  • Casos peruanos: Conga Mina, Baguazo – Defensores de la Tierra, 4 Cuencas of Perú;
  • Casos ecuatorianos: Mina de Cóndor Mirador, caso Chevron / Texaco, y Yasuní ITT
  • Brasil: Belo Monte
  • UU. y Bolivia: La fracturación hidráulica “fracking”
  • Océanos: derrame de BP en el Golfo de México, minas de carbón y otras amenazas a la de Australia Gran Barrera de Coral

Los miembros del Tribunal y los expertos de casos que presentan a los miembros de la prensa son:

Nnimo Bassey, Nigeria
Pablo Solon, Bolivia
Atossa Soltani, EE.UU
Tom Goldtooth, Isla Tortuga Indígena, EE.UU
Osprey Orielle Lake, EE.UU

El panel de distinguidos jueces incluyó a: Alberto Acosta, economista y ex presidente de la Asamblea Constituyente de Quito, Ecuador; Raúl Prada Alcoreza, filósofo, sociólogo, escritor, ex miembro de la Asamblea Constituyente boliviana de 2006-2007, Bolivia; Hugo Blanco, Director de la publicación mensual “Lucha Indígena”-Perú”; Tantoo Cardinal, actriz (p. ej., Danza con Lobos) activista contra las arenas de petróleo en Canadá; Blanca Chancoso, líder Kichwa y educadora de Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador; Tom Goldtooth, Dine / Dakota, director del Indigenous Environmental Network de Minnesota, EE.UU.; Francios Houtart, profesor, filósofo, teólogo, miembro del Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos, Bélgica; Osprey Orielle Lake, Co-Fundadora y Directora Ejecutiva de Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network, EE.UU.; Edgardo Lander, sociólogo, profesor, Venezuela; Verónika Mendoza, Congresista de Perú, representante de la Región de Cusco; Rocío Silva Santiesteban, Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos, autora, profesora, Perú; Atossa Soltani, fundadora y directora ejecutiva de Amazon Watch, EE.UU.; Terissa Turner, profesor de Sociología y Antropología, Especialista en Energía ex ONU, Canadá.

Ramiro Ávila, abogado ambiental de Ecuador sirve como Fiscal de la Tierra.

Organizado por Amazon Watch y Alianza Global por los Derechos de la Naturaleza

CONTACT: Osprey Orielle Lake, oolake@jps.net

Natalia Greene +593 (0) 99944-3724/nati.greene@gmail.com

Robin R. Milam +1.530.263-1483/Nature@TheRightsofNature.org

Información adicional:

Comunicado de Día 1 Tribunal de las deliberaciones:

http://therightsofnature.org/ron-events/tribunal-derechos-dai1/

Comunicado de Día 2 Tribunal de las deliberaciones:

http://therightsofnature.org/ron-events/tribunal-derechos-dai1-2/

Tribunal de Derechos de la Naturaleza – Dia 1

NOTA DE PRENSA
Lima, 6 de diciembre de 2014
Pueblos indígenas representan a la naturaleza y denuncian violación de derechos indígenas y de la naturaleza por los Estados y las transnacionales

• Poblaciones originarias alertan sobre la impunidad corporativa
• En primer día del Tribunal de los Derechos de la Naturaleza seis casos fueron sometidos a juicio: Caso de las cuatro cuencas amazónicas en Loreto; BP; Chevron; Conga; Belo Monte y Condor Mirador en Ecuador.

Empresas transnacionales y Estados se encuentran bajo la lupa por el Tribunal Internacional por los Derechos de la Naturaleza, que se viene desarrollando en Lima, desde el día viernes 5 hasta sábado 6 de diciembre, donde se seguirán presentando otros casos a nivel nacional e internacional respecto a la violación de los derechos de la naturaleza y de los pueblos indígenas, en el marco de la celebración de la vigésima Conferencia de las Partes (COP).

“Este tribunal ético permanente es un llamado a la humanidad para encontrarnos con la Naturaleza. Esta instancia surge cuando los Estados no cumplen con su obligación de preservar la vida de los seres humanos”, afirma Alberto Acosta, presidente del Tribunal, y ex presidente de la Asamblea Constituyente de Ecuador.

Casos peruanos: Conga y Pluspetrol (4 cuencas)

“Yanacocha es una herida profunda en la Madre Tierra, en Cajamarca”, lamentó Milton Sánchez, de la Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendín. Sánchez relató durante la audiencia toda la trayectoria de contaminación de la empresa Yanacocha. Asimismo, el ambientalista denunció que este proyecto destruiría las fuentes hídricas de la región. “Se verterían 85 mil toneladas diarias de relaves tóxicos durante 17 años”, afirmó. Milton condenó al presidente Humala por no cumplir con su promesa de velar por el derecho al agua de las comunidades.

José de Echave, director de CooperAcción, manifestó que no se realizó una consulta previa, libre e informada a la población, a pesar de la vigencia de la Ley de Consulta. Además, resaltó que el Estudio de Impacto Ambiental (EIA) que se presentó era “inconsistente, incompleto y violaba normas nacionales”.

Respecto al caso del Lote 192 en la selva loretana, se personó José Fachín de la cuenca del Pastaza. Relató al Tribunal que hace un año fue encarcelado, torturado y judicializado. Afirma que “desde hace más de cuarenta años la actividad petrolera ha generado muerte humana y animal”. A pesar de que el Estado ha declarado el Estado de Emergencia denuncia la inacción del Gobierno y de la empresa Pluspetrol. Exigen sancionar a Pluspetrol y que se determinen las responsabilidades del Estado por no proteger sus derechos y los de la naturaleza.

Casos del Ecuador: Cóndor Mirador y Chevron-Texaco

La cordillera del Cóndor está atravesada por proyectos mineros a gran escala, como es el caso de Condor Mirador. Luis Corral, defensor de los derechos humanos y de la naturaleza, manifestó que este caso viola los derechos de la naturaleza y colectivos”. Denunciaron el asesinato del luchador social, José Tendenza quien estaba citado para que asistiera al Tribunal como testigo. El dirigente achuar Domingo Ankuash condenó este proyecto y sentenció: “La Naturaleza y los seres humanos somos aliados, si uno desaparece, el otro también”. Por su parte, Narcisa Aucay, habitante de la región manifestó: “No nos van a callar. Nos han enseñado a vivir libremente, con honor y con dignidad”.

También se expuso en el Tribunal el caso de la empresa Chevron-Texaco que extrajo extrayendo petróleo desde el año 1967 en plena amazona ecuatoriana. La corporación construyó 860 piscinas donde se arrojaron los desechos tóxicos. En la actualidad, existen más de 2.000 casos de cáncer atribuibles a los tóxicos desechados por la actividad petrolífera. Pablo Fajardo, abogado de las víctimas de Chevron concluye que “se ganó el caso, pero no se limpia la amazonía ecuatoriana”; además informó que Chevron no acepta las sentencias de remediación del ambiente, por lo que se genera una afectación a los derechos internacionales.

Caso BP

Esperanza Matínez, de la organización Oil Watch, presentó el caso de la explosión en 2010 de la plataforma petrolífera ubicada en el Golfo de México que causó el derrame de aproximadamente 5 millones de barriles de crudo, y la muerte de 11 trabajadores. Martínez calificó este derrame como “el más grave de la humanidad”, y denunció la afectación de las especies que habitan en el mar. Asimismo, puso en conocimiento del Tribunal que el sistema de limpieza que empleó la empresa BP provocó que las partículas de petróleo se hicieran más pequeñas lo que facilitó que fueran absorbidas por las especies.

Caso brasileño de Belo Monte

El Tribunal también escuchó el caso de Belo Monte, la megarepresa que está construida al 50%, y que se convertirá en la tercera más grande del mundo. “Los pueblos están siendo afectados en su alimentación. No pueden pescar porque los peces se han ido de la región. Los pueblos no pueden beber su propia agua, debido a la actividad hidroeléctrica”, alertó la especialista Sonia Guadalajara.

CON EL RUEGO DE SU DIFUSIÓN
Prensa y comunicaciones
Magali Zevallos
995197420

Tribunal de Derechos de la Naturaleza – Dia 2

Nota de prensa, Día 2
Tribunal de Derechos de la Naturaleza
Lima 7 de diciembre, 2014

Condenan a Estados y empresas transnacionales por violación de derechos a los pueblos y a la naturaleza

✓ El Tribunal Internacional por los Derechos de la Naturaleza juzgó a doce casos internacionales y nacionales.

Alberto Acosta, presidente del Tribunal y expresidente de la Asamblea del Ecuador, resolvió admitir, expandir y resolver los 12 casos, en todos ellos, se condenó la vulneración a los derechos de los pueblos y la naturaleza presentados el 5 y 6 de diciembre en el Gran Hotel Bolivar en Lima, y se determinó ampliar las evidencias, e incluso la conformación de sesiones especiales y comisiones internacionales

Las sentencias se han dictado teniendo como marco legal los Derechos de la Naturaleza y la Declaración Universal de los Derechos de la Madre Tierra. “Los derechos de la naturaleza tienen que tener una validez universal”, asevera.

El Tribunal ha condenado el caso de la empresa Chevron-Texaco en Ecuador por el uso de “tecnología inadecuada y daños irreversibles”. Insta a que la corporación proceda a la reparación integral de la zona, y acusa al Estado de responsable por haber permitido su explotación. En el caso peruano de Conga, ha aceptado el caso y ha determinado nombrar una comisión especial internacional que visite la zona para que recoja más información. Para la contaminación en las cuatro cuencas amazónicas (lote 192) establece la creación de una sesión especial en el Perú para que elcaso sea sea juzgado; esta misma sentencia se ha dictado para el caso de Bagua.Todos los casos peruano, tras el voto razonado de los jueces y juezas, fueron aceptados como amenazas de violación a os derechos de la naturaleza.

Respecto al cambio climático, el Tribunal decidió que se recoja más evidencia hacia una audiencia en París en 2015 para que coincida con la próxima cumbre, COP21. Asimismo, considera necesario expresar a las Naciones Unidas su procupación por un escenario que contempla el uso de energías de alto riesgo. Asimismo, se condenó al gobierno de Queensland, Australia por vulnerar los derechos de la naturaleza del Gran Arrecife de Coral.

La explotación petrolífera en el Yasuní también fue condenada, y se respaldó la iniciativa popular promovida por el colectivo de los Yasunidos. Además condena la persecución que sufre este grupo. Otro de los casos condenados fue el proyecto minero en la Cordillera del Cóndor. El Tribunal determinó suspender la explotación minera, compensar a las personas afectadas; e instó al Estado a que investigue y sancione a los culpables por la muerte de José Tendentza. En conmemoración a este luchador social, el Tribunal celebrado en Lima llevará su nombre.

‘Baguazo’
El domingo el Tribunal abrió una audiencia al caso de Bagua, por el cual cinco años más tarde, 52 líderes indígenas tienen juicios en su contra. Ismael Vega, antropólogo del Centro Amazónico de Antropología y Ampliación Práctica (CAAAP) calificó el ‘Baguazo’ de “caso emblemático”, pues según el experto, este caso podría volver a repetirse de no modificarse las actuales políticas y condiciones. “Bagua visibiliza el desencuentro entre la población indígena y el Estado. Esta falta de diálogo sigue vigente”, sentencia Vega.

Miguel Jugo, de la Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos, hizo mención al contexto que motivó las protestas. La “Ley de la Selva” se refiere a la aplicación de diez decretos legislativos y leyes en el marco del Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) entre Perú y EE.UU. que tratan sobre la vida de los pueblos indígenas. A raíz de ello, en 2008 comenzaron las protestas de pueblos indígenas amazónicos, las cuales fueron confrontadas por las fuerzas gubernamentales. Jugo denunció las irregularidades que rodean el proceso judicial contra los indígenas, “el juicio es contrario al Convenio 169 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), y la etapa de instrucción se realizó sin traductores”. Jugo añadió que “no existen pruebas que comprometan a los 52 procesados”.

‘Fracking’
“No se puede hacer fractura hidraúlica de manera segura. Nunca debió inventarse esta técnica. Es una de las formas más destructivas del ambiente que jamás se haya visto”, afirmó contundente Shannon Biggs, directora de Movement Rights. La especialista estadounidense afirma que en este país existen 800.000 pozos activos de gas y petróleo, y se producen unos 300 mil barriles al día de gas natural. Biggs alerta de la contaminación del agua, debido a los químicos que se emplean, como consecuencia del uso de esta técnica. Asimismo, alerta de que el fracking causa terremotos en zonas que nunca habían experimentado este tipo de fenómenos. Cassey Camp, indígena estadounidense de Oklahoma, lamenta: “Morimos por el uso del fracking. La población se enferma de cáncer, mi hermana también ha muerto. El agua está contaminada, no podemos pescar. Estamos en peligro de extinción”.

Desde Bolivia también se denunciaron los planes de desarrollar a gran escala la fractura hidráulica sobre sus suelos. En los últimos años se ha incrementado la producción y exportación de gas natural; durante los años 2000-2012 se incrementó en un 382,6%. Sin embargo, exportan el 82,4% de su producción. Asimismo, la exportación de este hidrocarburo genera más de 6 mil millones de dólares al año, como informó el especialista Martín Vilela, de la Plataforma Reacción Climática.

Bolivia tiene 8,23 trillones de pies cúbicos de gas, e YPFB planea invertir 40.670 millones entre 2013 y 2015. Vilela explicó que en 2013 esta corporación firmó un convenio para realizar fracking en la zona del Chaco, un área escasa de agua. De ponerse en marcha, la extracción de 48 trillones de pies cúbicos de gas de esquito consumiría entre 112 y 335 mil millones de litros de agua.

Falsas soluciones al cambio climático y REDD
El Tribunal escuchó dos casos relacionados, uno sobre cambio climático y sus falsas soluciones y el otro sobre los mecanismos de Reducción de Emisiones por Deforestación y Degradación de los Bosques (REDD+). Dentro del caso del cambio climático, se expuso el caso de contaminación y aumento de temperatura que afecta a Nigeria. Este continente está atravesado por yacimientos petroleros y gaseoductos que han provocado una profunda degradación ambiental, deforestación, innumerables derrames de crudo, entre otros. Unas deplorables condiciones de vida que han provocado que la esperanza de vida en esta zona sea de 44 años.

Añadido a ello, los estragos del cambio climático pueden tener consecuencias catastróficas. El activista Nnimmo Bassey afirma: “Por cada grado que aumente la temperatura a nivel global, en África, se incrementaría un 50% más”. En 2012 se produjeron unas inundaciones en Nigeria que provocaron la reubicación de 6 millones de habitantes. El activista afirma que en 2030 se incrementarán en África un 54% más los conflictos violentos por la falta de acceso a recursos naturales.

En la audiencia contra las falsas soluciones, se denunciaron técnicas como geoingeniería que busca manipular el clima sin cambiar las condiciones que provocan el cambio climático.

Asimismo, se sometieron a juicio los REDD. En Brasil la existencia de este mecanismo está muy presente. El apu Ninawá denuncia a los mismos: “los REDD presentan una propuesta mentirosa. No aceptamos que se comercialice con la naturaleza porque es nuestra alma y espíritu. No tiene precio, es nuestra voz”. Ruth Nyambura, ecologista de la organización Red de Biodiversidad de África, afirma que en Kenia como consecuencia del mecanismo REDD se producen desalojos: “Cuatro indígenas fueron arrestados y una mujer fue golpeada por los servicios forestales por estar en su tierra”.

El Gran Arrecife de Coral australiano
Este arrecife es el sistema de corales más grande del mundo. Es la estructura conformada por organismos vivos más grandes que puede ser vista desde el espacio. Es considerado Patrimonio Mundial por la UNESCO, institución que advirtió al gobierno en 2011 por verse amenazado esta estructura por la expansión de puertos, especialmente para la exportación de carbón, el dragado, los sedimentos agrícolas y los desarrollos industriales cercanos al mismo. Erin Fitz, de Alianza Nacional, condenó la violación de derechos del arrecife de coral, y destacó la gran biodiversidad que podría destruirse: “Este Arrecife está compuesto de más de 600 tipos de corales y por más de 100 especies. El Tribunal dictó sentencia condenatoria para este caso.

La explotación petrolera del Yasuní
Desde el 2013 el gobierno ecuatoriano permitió la explotación petrolera en el Parque Nacional Yasuní, una de las zonas de mayor biodiversidad en el mundo que alberga a 2naciones indígenas en aislamiento voluntario.

El hecho provocó que un grupo de jóvenes (Yasunidos) se una en protesta y defensa por los derechos de la naturaleza –que están contemplados en la Constitución de Ecuador-. Yasunidos juntó más de 800 mil e firmas para someter a consulta popular la explotación petrolífera en el Yasuní; sin embargo el pedido fue rechazado puesto que las instituciones electorales invalidaron el 60% de las rúbrica de manera fraudulenta.
Por todos estos sucesos, Yasunidos ha demandado al gobierno ecuatoriano, al mando del presidente Rafael Correa, ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) y están a la espera que su denuncia llegue hasta la Corte IDH.