BENEFITING: INDIGENOUS ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK
EVENT DATE: Oct 02, 2016
The Indigenous Environmental Network is sponsoring this CrowdWise for Gloria Ushigua, of the Sapara Women's Association.
Over the last few months Gloria has reported several home break-ins and an attempted abduction of one of the Association members while she was gardening. This follows on the heels of the death in highly suspect circumstances of her sister-in-law, Anacleta Dahua Cují.
As oil companies, politicians, and even some non-Sapara residents of Gloria's territory have threatened all those who resist oil drilling and cap and trade projects, the women's group has requested the donation of a camera with a telephoto lens, so that they can document trespassers, intruders, and aggressors from a safe distance. We are also interested in procuring some motion-sensor cameras for vulnerable homes. We ask you to kindly donate whatever amount you can to help support the safety of the Sapara community members.
Indigenous human rights defender Ms Gloria Ushigua has been a target of increasing levels of harassment over the past months as a result of her peaceful and legitimate work in defense of environmental rights and her ancestral land.
On 31 May 2016, five men sat outside Gloria Ushigua's home throughout the night, in what appeared to be an act of intimidation against the human rights defender. This follows another act of intimidation against her niece on 26 May 2016 and the killing of the human rights defender's sister-in-law, Anacleta Dahua Cují, on 2 May 2016. Ecuador’s government sold oil exploration rights 20 years ago in a remote area of the Amazon rainforest that encompasses the entirety of the Sapara's traditional lands to a consortium of Chinese state-owned oil companies. These exploratory wells have been leaking for 20 years, sickening humans and wildlife, but the Chinese companies have been given permits to go ahead and drill near the river that currently provides clean drinking water to not only the Sapara but also the city of Puyo.
Gloria, her family, the Sapara Women’s Association and community members stand firmly against drilling. The tenacious resistance from the Sapara, who fear they could lose everything, has brought about threats, intimidation, and violence.
They requested camera equipment to be able to document the people who threaten them in order to seek legal protections.
Gloria Ushigua is Coordinator of the Sápara women's organisation Ashiñwaka, which defends Sápara people's ancestral land and environmental rights in the province of Pastaza. Since 2010, the human rights defender has been invested in the defence of her community in Llachama Cocha, primarily against private and State-owned companies seeking to exploit oil deposits in Sápara territory. As a result, she has been threatened, intimidated, judicially harassed, discredited on national television by high public officials and assaulted by law enforcement officers, along with other members of her family.