by Alex Pietrowski
December 5, 2013
Respected author, public speaker and
spokesperson for indigenous rights
John Perkins expressed outrage today
that the government of Ecuador has violently closed down the rainforest
protection activist group,
Pachama Alliance, which Perkins helped to create in 1995.
Strongly condemning the government’s actions as
"This is an outrage! The Pachamama
Alliance organization, that I co-founded in 1995, has been brutally and
violently attacked by the Ecuadorian government because of pressure from
international oil companies and the corporatocracy. What has been done
is blatantly illegal. It must be addressed immediately."
– John Perkins
from a Facebook post
Perkins has a unique perspective on the struggle
between indigenous people and the international corporate/government siege
of the Amazon and it’s land and resources.
He personally played a major role in economic
takeover of Ecuador, as detailed in his must read novel,
Confessions of An Economic Hit Man:
"Knowing the part I had played in
destroying this beautiful country was once again taking its toll.
Because of my fellow EHMs and me, Ecuador is in far worse shape today
than she was before we introduced her to the miracles of modern
economics, banking, and engineering.
Since 1970, during this period known
euphemistically as the Oil Boom, the official poverty level grew from 50
to 70 percent, under- or unemployment increased from 15 to 70 percent,
and public debt increased from $240 million to $16 billion.
Meanwhile, the share of national
resources allocated to the poorest segments of the population declined
from 20 to 6 percent.5″
Confessions of an Economic
According to other conservationists and earth
allies in the exacerbating struggle to prevent the total devastation of the
Amazon, tensions in Ecuador are rising between activists and corporate
Earlier this year Ecuador announced the failure
of the government’s Yasuní
ITT initiative, which attempted to attract international
investment for the preservation of the rainforest as an alternative to
selling portions of this breath-taking area off to international investors
for oil rights.
Since the failure of the Yasuní
ITT initiative, the Ecuadorian government has been quick to put
this remaining region of the world’s natural wonders up for sale to
corporate oil, gas and farming interests.
The pollution and demise of this region of the
world is one of the greatest tragedies of modern life, and widespread
international resistance to this wanton waste of the rainforest is growing
Activist and conservationist Jonathon Miller-Weisberger,
Rainforest Medicine - Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in
the Upper Amazon, in a recent trip to capital city Quito expressed
concern that the nation of Ecuador might be close to experiencing a civil
war, as the rights of indigenous peoples and the earth are being totally
savaged by the unethical relationship between the state and international
Miller-Weisberger works directly with
endangered tribes of the upper Amazon and invites
Ayahuasca medicine shaman to Costa Rica for
sacred plant-medicine ceremonies and cultural exchange with
Westerners as a means of outreach to help the world understand the
importance of protecting this sacred area and it’s cultures.
For over 20 years, he has been a witness to the
takeover, devastation and poisoning of this region, pointing out that lands
once pristine and cultures unmolested are forced into selling off their land
to corporations and abandoning their ancient customs in favor of drug and
alcohol abuse and prostitution.
Ecuador Oil Waste
This is a critical struggle for planet earth,
and the Pachamama Alliance has played important role in bringing the voices
and concerns of people to the debate over the balance between ecology and
According to John Perkins:
"You can help by "liking"
Pachamama Alliance on Facebook and joining the conversation on
twitter: @FPachamama_Ec and the hashtag
- John Perkins, author of The Secret
History of American Empire
In an online post by the
Pachamama Alliance, the story of this illegal closure of its operations
is recounted below:
This morning, the government of Ecuador
entered the offices of Fundación Pachamama in Quito and shut down their
Backlash against our indigenous allies and
partners at Fundación Pachamama has heated up since last Thursday’s
announcement of the
failure of the XI Round oil bidding process.
On Saturday, in his weekly telecast to the
nation of Ecuador, President Correa accused our allies of fomenting
dissent and violence. In defense of its work to defend human rights and
the rights of nature, Fundación Pachamama released the statement below
Please stay tuned as we learn more:
December 2, 2013
Fundación Pachamama, an Ecuadorian
non-profit organization with 16+ years working in defense of the
Human Rights of Amazon Indigenous Peoples and Rights of Nature,
exercises its democratic right to freedom of speech and considers it
necessary to state its position regarding the XI Round and the
opinions expressed in the Enlace Ciudadano No. 350 regarding our
Fundación Pachamama regrets, in the
first place, that the Ecuadorian government convened the XI Oil
Round that affects more than three million hectares of
mega-diverse Amazon rainforests, which constitute the ancestral
territory of seven Amazon indigenous nationalities.
It is worrisome that the government
continues fostering exploration and exploitation in the Amazon
without having adequately implemented free, prior and informed
consultation processes with the indigenous nationalities.
Furthermore, the development of this
process has generated conflicts and has divided the Amazon
population, indicating clearly the lack of respect of the
democratic indigenous governance system, which is a product of
the democratic expression of the base communities.
On November 28th, 2013, we saw how
the oil industry did not respond favorably to the XI Oil Round,
which we believe should lead the authorities to reflect on
whether or not the bidding process should continue with such
We have the right to dissent the
decision of the authorities, the process that has been
implemented and alternatively propose that the oil remain
underground to preserve one of the greatest riches of our
country, its cultural and biological diversity.
The current Constitution obliges the
government to find a new development model that respects our
country’s Pluri-nationality, Human Rights, Rights of Nature and
"Sumak Kawsay" or "Living "Forest."
Fundación Pachamama also extends its
solidarity with the Amazon nationalities and peoples defending
We believe it is illegitimate to
implement processes affecting indigenous territories and not
include the presidents of indigenous nationalities and peoples
that have been elected by their people and are recognized by the
"Development Council of the Nationalities and Peoples of
Our support is grounded in the tools
that the government and the rule of law provides to safeguard
We have been doing so throughout the
years as we have stood by, among others, the struggle of the
community of Sarayaku in the Inter-American System of Human
Under no circumstances, do we
support actions outside the rights granted by the Constitution.
We defend the right to protest peacefully and reject the use of
violence from any side.
Dissenting to government policies
and defending constitutional rights are inherent to democracy
and we are not willing to give up their exercise.
We consider this position to be
coherent with the mission of our organization, therefore we
reject any act that seeks to impede or make our work difficult.