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    African Palm And Indian Ethnocide

    SAIIC recently received the following press releases from the Confederation of Indian Nations in the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE).

    CONFENIAE is a regional organization that unites the Shuar, Quichua, Cofan, Secoya, Siona, and Huaorani Indian nations. We use the term nations because it encompasses territory, culture, history, and self-government.

    CONFENIAE began in 1980 to answer our needs and aspirations. The different federations carry out programs and projects in bi-lingual education, health, agriculture, land tenancy, and similar concerns. The main objectives of CONFENIAE are to defend Indian land, cultural values, the right to self-determination, and the right to organize freely.

    At present, Indian peoples of Ecuador and especially of the Amazon region, are facing very hard times. The policies of past and present governments are accelerating the destruction of natural resources and the indiscriminate and violent occupation of Amazon lands. They ignore the existence of Indian peoples who for centuries have held the land as our only and true historical heritage. The land is the guarantee of our survival.

    The policies of the current government include giving priority to the process of colonization, halting Indian access to land adjacent to Indian communities, and opening the land to foreign investment. Lack of control of transnational corporations, such as lumber, mining, agribusiness, and oil companies, results in ethnocide of Indian peoples...

    The cultivation of African palms, which produce oil that is sold at a high price in the international market, is a good example of the assault on our people. Large areas of land are being given to palm-growing companies, ignoring the traditional and historical rights of Indian peoples of the Amazon region.

    The transnational companies have complete control of the cultivation of the palm and all proceeds are sent outside the country....

    We want the situation faced by Indian peoples of the Amazon to be known at a national and international level and seek solidarity with our struggle for unity, land, justice, and freedom.


    Cristobal Tapuy P.
    President of CONFENIAE

    Source: South and Meso-American Indian Information Center (SAIIC).  Berkeley, CA.  Spring, 1986, p.9.
    Vol. 2, no. 3.





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