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Ecuadorean Indigenous Group Challenges Oil Drilling in International Court – July 14, 2011

Case Is a Major Test for Indigenous Rights Throughout the Western Hemisphere

“I think I see them!” said Samai Gualinga, an Indigenous youth from Sarayaku, a Kichwa community located in the Ecuadorean Amazon. She craned her neck to see over the security checkpoints at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport and then, with the help of her friends, lifted a 10-foot banner with the words “Sarayaku: kawsay sacha” (“Sarayaku: living forests”) boldly emblazoned in vibrant green paint.

Soon her father, José Gualinga, President of Sarayaku, passed through the security gate wearing his traditional headdress made of parrot plumes and the skeletons of two boa constrictors crisscrossed against his chest. A few spectators looked on with curiosity as he and his daughter embraced. One by one,… more

by: Lauren Johnson

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