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They demand compliance with the closure of oil exploitation in the jungle of Ecuador

They demand compliance with the closure of oil exploitation in the jungle of Ecuador

Organizations natives and environmentalists Ecuador They demanded this Friday compliance with the historic referendum voted last year at the national level, where the cessation and dismantling of oil exploitation in Block 43-ITT, one of the most important fields in the country, located in the Amazonian Yasuní National Park, was approved. .

In a press conference in front of the headquarters of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, these groups criticized the recent creation by the president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, of a committee of different government departments in charge of designing the closure plan for Block 43 -ITT.

“This decree (creating the committee) is untimely, it was presented nine months late“said Pedro Bermeo, of the environmental group Yasunidos, who was the promoter of the referendum after collecting 757,000 signatures in 2013 and waging a legal battle against state institutions to be able to hold the plebiscite, which finally took place on August 20, 2023.

“Only did the president agree that he has to comply with the popular will and does not establish any budget for the progressive and orderly withdrawal (of the oil facilities), nor any schedule”Bermeo elaborated.

According to the ruling of the Constitutional Court that gave the green light to the holding of this referendum, the Government has until August 2024 to comply with the dismantling of Block 43-ITT, something that Petroecuador technicians, the state company that operates the field, they see it as unviable, due to the field abandonment protocols carried out in the oil industry.

Bermeo pointed out that the ruling of the highest court of guarantees “clearly establishes the effects of the consultation”hence “There must be an orderly withdrawal of all the oil infrastructure built arbitrarily before the popular consultation took place, due to the systematic blockade of various State institutions.”

The Yasunidos representative recalled that “The Constitutional Court is in charge of verifying compliance, and is in the monitoring phase.”

Bermeo went so far as to assert that, in case of non-compliance, the court can even dismiss the presidents and other authorities in charge of fulfilling the popular mandate reflected in the consultation.

Likewise, he regretted that the committee did not include Yasunidos as a proponent of the consultation, which was “the first popular consultation at the national level that was born from the citizens, from below, was not born from the president or a politician”, he highlighted.

The activist also stated that the creation of this committee is “a smoke screen to cover what is happening in Olón”a town where Noboa resides and where citizen groups seek to protect the mangrove forest in a sector of the area where a company linked to the first lady, Lavinia Valbonesi, seeks to develop a real estate project.

For his part, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), Leonidas Iza, highlighted that the popular will to close Block 43-ITT was not an exclusive matter of indigenous people, since the entire country participated in the vote.

Iza urged the Constitutional Court to guarantee compliance with the sentences and anticipated that with the Waorani indigenous nationality, who live in the Yasuní National Park, they will define the defense strategies for their territory.

“For the indigenous and neglected peoples, it has been painful day after day to have to ask for favors and get on our knees so that they comply with the rights established in the Constitution, when it should be a moral and ethical obligation of those who are in charge of the State,” Iza concluded.

Petroecuador continues to operate Block 43-ITT with a production of about 52,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which is equivalent to around eleven% of all national oil production. It is the fourth most productive deposit in the entire South American country.

This vote set a global precedent as Ecuador was the first country to democratically vote to close an oil exploitation to preserve the Yasuní National Park, one of the areas with the greatest biodiversity in the world, housing more than 2,000 species of trees and shrubs, 204 of mammals, 610 of birds, 121 of reptiles, 150 of amphibians and more than 250 of fish.

Also living in its interior are the Tagaeri, Taromenane and Dugakaeri, indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation whose intangible zone borders Block 43-ITT.

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Source: Gestion

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