This week, eighteen Kichwa people of the Sarayaku are in Costa Rica bringing the government of Ecuador before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
“For eight years they have brought documentation of human rights violations before the Organization of American States, with the goal of the Ecuadorian government admitting to past rights violations and offering guarantees that the same never happen again,” explains Amazon Watch, long-time allies of the . Sarayaku. “Sarayaku’s complaints include oil companies entering their territory without consultation, arrests and torture when they resisted oil exploration, and a long-running campaign to demonize the 1,200 residents of Sarayaku as anti-development terrorists,” Amazon Watch continues.
On 6 July 2011, following a powerful ceremony designed to bring the spiritual power of their homeland, the Sarayaku delegation headed into the Court room along with attorney Mario Melo and a leading Washington based human rights NGO, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).
The hearing, which is being streamed LIVE on the net, will conclude today, July 7, 2011. You can listen in at http://www.corteidh.or.cr/.
hearings and tribunals
Sarayaku vs The Republic of Ecuador
The people of the Kichwa pueblo of Sarayaku are leading an historic battle against the government of their country. This nearly nine year court battle will soon conclude and the Indigenous leaders of this tiny Amazon community anticipate a judgement in their favor, making Ecuador responsible for human rights abuses inflicted upon their people during a campaign of terror designed to allow oil companies access to ancestral land through government contracts, bullying and coercion.
The people of Sarayaku have stood united for their beliefs and the rights of all people and the rights of nature to equitable, just and healthy lives. Their fight is not only for their community and their land, but also for all people and land that suffers the injustices and destructions fomented by greed and power to manipulate and profit rather than support and nurture life.
Sarayaku sets a tone and example for all to witness, that we must stand up for what is right and speak our truth, to accept and ignore injustice is tantamount to complicity. If we are to ensure life and health of ourselves, our descendants and our planet we must unite and stand for truth and justice in support of all living systems and their right to life.
In these increasingly complicated and challenging times, Sarayaku offers a beacon of light in very dark moments to guide us all on a path of awareness and evaluation of what is truly success and wealth in a World gripped by daunting changes. Standing together they speak aloud a message and a call to action.
Stand together, or fall apart! Time is short , but never too late to make the best use of all the time we have.
We honor and salute their remarkable sacrifices and enduring strength.
For more information visit www.sarayaku.com