Indigenous leaders from Ecuador’s Amazon declared victory on November 6, 2019, after revealing that the country’s government had granted a force majeure request by Andes Petroleum Ltd Ecuador to stop drilling in a rainforest concession known as Block 79.
Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources had issued a resolution on October 10, 2019, granting the force majeure request due to the ‘resistance and social and political opposition’ of Sapara and Kichwa indigenous peoples potentially affected by the project.
The leaders’ press conference on November 6 was the first time the information was made public.
“The declaration by the government of force majeure in Block 79 is a result of our fight, and it was forced to recognise that these territories are ours, we live there. We are asking the government to remove all oil concessions from our territories. We will remain vigilant,” Yanda Montahuano, a leader of the Sapara Nation, was quoted as saying in a press statement by non-profit Amazon Watch.
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