Se cierra el círculo del exterminio: pueblos ocultos en la Amazonía Ecuatoriana
The hidden people living in the Ecuadorian jungle are on the point of disappearing. The State has not got round to acknowledging their existence and has therefore denied them their right to exist. The main threats —the illegal removal of timber from their territory and the exploitation of oil resources— have them fenced in, on the verge of extinction. The conversation policies so frequently and readily spoken of by the State can still only be found on paper. The Yasuní National Park, the World Biosphere Reserve and Protected Area, and the Intangible Zone (the such-called area where any extractive activity is prohibited) are constantly infringed by the State itself. The borders of the «Intangible Zone» are marked out by the limits of the oil rigs, and within the area the jungle has become a hotbed for illicit operations, illegal tree-felling, the fortress and den for a treasure hunt, the treasure being cedar and mahogany. The conservation discourse contrasts with the reality. There is a territory that must be left untouched and where the only absentee is precisely the authority that controls it. There are documented policies created to protect hidden people and even an offer to avoid oil production in the zone. There even exist precautionary measures bestowed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Yet there is nobody there to bring order on the land: there is no authority, no justice, no law abided to in the territory where Ecuador’s greatest intangible treasure lives.
Published online: 11 December 2017