I Am A Defender of the Rainforest
Sarayaku in focus ⬿

I Am A Defender of the Rainforest

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John Ahni Schertow
November 1, 2008

Known as ‘Soy defensor de la selva’ in Spanish, I am a Defender of the Rainforest is an award-winning documentary that was filmed, edited, and directed by members of the Sarayaku community in southern Ecuador.

The film shows how the community, living in the autonomous region of Sarayaku, organized themselves and confronted the Argentinian oil company CGC (Compañia General de Combustibles).

In 2002 the company entered Sarayaku with a plan to carry out a geological survey. However, they did not have permission from the community to do so.

CGC was told to leave the territory, but the company refused.

In response, the community took matters into their own hands, by organizing to remove the invading company.

At that point the government of Ecuador sent in the military to back the company up, which led to a series of confrontations with the community. Conflicts also broke out with neighboring communities who had been tricked into siding with CGC.

Nevertheless, the Sarayaku remained committed to defending their land.

To learn more about the Sarayaku visit www.sarayaku.com

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