Expert Seminar on Indigenous Peoples – 13 July 2018
Oral statement of Sr. Felix SANTI, (People Kichwa of Sarayaku, Ecuador)
Question: current state of implementation of the court’s judgment in the case Sarayaku vs. Ecuador
The Original People Kichwa of Sarayaku is located in the Central South of the Valley of the Equatorian Amazonia.
The Argentine entreprise CGC started petroleum exploration and exploitation in the territory of Sarayaku, without having obtained the consent of the People of Sarayaku. A long process of legal and political struggle followed, during more than a decade, in particular in the Interamerican Human Rights system.
The Interamerican Court Judgment resolved in favour of the Sarayaku People, deciding that the State of Ecuador had violated the rights to community property and to life of the Sarayaku People. This Judgment is compulsory for the State.
Six years after the issue of this judgment, some measures for reparation have been adopted. However, the most important measures, namely the elaboration and implementation of a process of free, prior, informed consent before the exploration and winning of these natural resources (guarantee of non repetition) have not been effectively realized.
Facing this situation, and extremely concerned by the lack of interest in the enforcement of this Judgment, the Sarayaku People requested on several occasion to be received by the national Government and the Ministry of Justice, in charge of the enforcement of the Judgment. The lack of positive response from the State shows that the State is not interested in the implementation of this Judgement.
Currently, the State of Ecuador broadens its extractive policy in the Centre South of Amazonia. This means that the State continues to violate the rights of the Sarayaku People and disrepects the Judgement in the case Sarayaku.
This is why the Sarayaku People respectfully requests the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a human rights body, to recommend that the of the Judgement of the Interamerican Court be enforced, that the territory of the Original People Kichwa of Sarayaku, located in the Province of Pastaza, Equatorian Amazonia, is a LIVING FOREST, a BEING ALIVE, CONSCIOUS AND SUBJECT OF RIGHTS, as we, Original Peoples and Nationalities have ancestrally recognized.
We continue to preserve and conserve in a sustainable way the territories, the material and spiritual relationship established there by the original peoples with the Living Forest and the beings that inhabit it. Our living territory is, and will continue to be, free of any type of extractive activities such as oil, mining, timber, bio-piracy or others. Therefore, we propose a model of way of life based on criteria of wealth of our culture, such as the existence in our territory of uncontaminated rivers with abundant fish, life in the Family and the strength of our organization.