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Indigenous group claims Ecuadorian government complicit in ‘genocide’

Ecuador’s paramount indigenous organization has filed a legal complaint against the government, including President Rafael Correa, for allegedly participating in ‘genocide’ against indigenous people in the Amazon. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) is arguing that expanding oil exploration and mining is imperiling the lives of uncontacted tribes that have chosen voluntary isolation known as the Tagaeri and the Tarmenane, reports the AFP.

The legal complaint argues that industrial exploitation of the Amazonian region in Ecuador is causing a “cultural and physical disappearance [of indigenous tribes], which amounts to the crime of ethnocide or genocide”. The move by CONAIE is unprecedented in Ecuador.

The complaint targets President Rafael Correa as well as other top officials connected to the environment and industry.

Correa has dismissed the organization, saying that no one pays attention to CONAIE.

According to international indigenous rights organization, Survival International, uncontacted natives are perilously vulnerable to diseases brought in by oil workers.

The Tagaeri and Taromenane are thought to be related to the Waorani tribe, whose historic land makes up Yasuni National Park. How many Tagaeri and Taromenane live in Ecuador’s Amazon is currently unknown.

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