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Ecuador Indigenous Environmental Activist Murdered Before Addressing UN

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posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 08:08 PM

Ecuadorian indigenous leader killed days before planned protest at COP20. How many more environmental defenders will die before the world takes notice?
Billy Kyte Environmental defenders, Forests, Land, Uncategorized

While governments debate the minutiae of curbing emissions at the UN’s annual climate jamboree, people on the frontline of the environmental struggle are getting killed. On 28th November, just days before this year’s climate conference (COP20) was due to start, an indigenous Shuar leader went missing in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

José Isidro Tendetza Antún’s body was found a few days ago, bound and buried in an unmarked grave. Far away from the corridors of power, this is the harsh reality of the battle to save the environment.

Like many other indigenous leaders in the Amazon, Tendetza was opposed to large-scale projects that threatened the forests his community depend on. He had planned to travel this week to the Lima COP20 to denounce the Mirador copper and gold mine which, according to the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, will devastate around 450,000 acres of forest.

Tendetza had been a prominent critic of the Chinese-owned mine and its impacts on the Shuar, Ecuador’s second-biggest indigenous group.

Global Witness research has shown that these kinds of deaths are far from an isolated phenomenon, and are happening more and more. Earlier this year we published our Deadly Environment report that compiled global data on the killings of environmental and land defenders. We found that three times as many people were killed in 2012 than 10 years previously.

These deaths occur because activists and ordinary citizens are increasingly finding themselves at the forefront of the battle over the planet’s resources, and national governments are failing to protect them from rising threats of illegal logging, mining, land grabs and large development projects.

The hosts of COP20 are one of the worst offenders. Last month we released a report, Peru’s Deadly Environment, detailing the failures of the Peruvian government to address these killings in the country, the fourth deadliest to be an environmental defender globally. In Peru, as in many countries, this violence is exacerbated by the fact that indigenous communities lack rights to their land and forests, and so struggle to defend them. Forest communities should be the best placed to combat the illegal logging that plagues Peru, yet they are dying doing so.

Global Witness wants to help stop this happening. We aim to make the problem better recognized, so that key governments feel compelled to act on their responsibility to protect citizens, and so the need to protect the environment remains high on international and national agendas. By exposing what’s driving violence and intimidation against environmental defenders we hope to help usher in the kind of reforms needed to prevent further attacks. fenders-will-die-before-the-world-takes-notice/

This is one of those WTF moments this about the third time I am posting stories of National Governments selling out their people to foreigners including our own.
Congress To Sell Ancesterial Apache Lands To Chinese interests.
Tanzania evicting 40,000 people from homeland to make room for Dubai royal family
I mean WTF!! is it open season on all non urban populations across the globe.
edit on 14-12-2014 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 10:47 PM

These deaths occur because activists and ordinary citizens are increasingly finding themselves at the forefront of the battle over the planet’s resources, and national governments are failing to protect them from rising threats of illegal logging, mining, land grabs and large development projects.

National Governments WON'T protect people because they are likely funding the killings. How can politicians get rich by selling out the public if people keep getting in the way?

posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 11:07 PM
It's too bad, in a way, that the usual person concerned with the environment and future of humanity is too smart and empathic to condone killing in the name of life... because it's tempting to do just that.

The utterly ignorant thugs responsible for these killings and the degradation of our ecosystem, who hold profit over anything else, will doom us all... not just the decent people working against their destructive ways.

Oh well... all we can do is try fight through law and education, because one shouldn't use evil to combat evil... no matter how tempting it is. I just hope there's time to change before it all swirls down the drain.
edit on 12/14/2014 by Baddogma because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 11:47 PM
I suppose that IF this is not an isolated incident then a relatively good case could be constructed to support the idea that environmentalists are being murdered with the intent of silencing them. Of course on its own this person's death could still point to some conspiracy, since there are definitely groups that have plenty of motive, as well as the fact that the timing seems strange. But what needs to be established is whether these kinds of deaths are occurring in this region where non-activists are victims. Perhaps there is some crime syndicate or rebel group operating in the area. Is there any animosity between these indiginous peoples and some other group? The strange timing and the fact that this was obviously a murder does not necessarily equate with a conspiracy perpetrated by anti-environmentalists, or those companies involved in mining the region, although anything short of a lone murderer does mean a conspiracy took least by my understanding of the definition of conspiracy.

Looking at this logically, I think that the mining company and their investors/supporters would need reason to believe that this man's testimony would have some impact on their future business, otherwise murdering him is a huge risk. Although I'm sure this area is like the Wild West in a way, where lawlessness abounds. It is extremely difficult to police such an area, which is why rebel groups and organized criminal gangs use the jungles so much. So perhaps the murderer(s) did not feel that the risk was a great one. But did they figure on the body being found? Because obviously the heat is on the mining company now, even if it cannot be proven that there is a connection. Were they willing to take this heat, knowing they could not be linked to the murder? I think this is plausible, IF they did not feel that such suspicion would hurt their future business. Public opinion likely does not matter to this company, as the only thing that would matter is whether they were allowed to continue their operations. So while I cannot draw any conclusion as to the identity of the murderer at this point, I will definitely say that the mining company and their partners had motive for murdering this man. But that proves nothing. What it does do is justify a thorough investigation in my opinion, but I really do not feel that this is going to occur. Companies operating in foreign countries like this, especially corrupt countries, have a very easy time of buying off the right officials. I have a feeling that no one will be brought to justice, as that is the world we live in. Money buys a lot of things, including "justice."

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