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Petition in solidarity with the afro-ecuadorian ancestral community of La Chiquita and the Awá indigenous community of Guadalito versus two oil palm companies of the San Lorenzo Cantón, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.*


Location of the La Chiquita and Guaadalito communities and the socio-environmental effects of river pollution by oil palm companies.

(Para la versión española de la peticiónpulse aquí. Para a versão em português da petição, clique aquí.)

Dear Friends,

In this moment the first civil court case in Ecuador and in the world in defense of Nature is in process. In this case Nature is a subject of rights. She presents her demands together with us, two ancestral communities: the Afro-Ecuadorian community of La Chiquita and the Awá Indigenous community of Guadualito. Our communities are located in the Ecuadorian-Colombian border—Canton San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas Province—located in the northwest region of the Ecuadorian coast.

Our lawsuit demands that the two oil palm companies Esteros EMA SA Palesema and Los Andes SA, who have been cultivating oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) for biofuel production in the Canton of San Lorenzo for more than fifteen years, suspend their harmful practices that have led to the following consequences: massive deforestation of the rain forest, major loss of biodiversity, excessive river pollution, and subsequently the serious deterioration of health and of the food sovereignty of our people. We request that the oil palm companies repair the damage and respect all beings that inhabit Nature: people, spiritual beings, rivers, forests, mangroves, and distinct species of trees, medicinal and food plants, mammals, amphibians, birds and invertebrates.

"Protecting the Environment, the life and lungs of Ecuador": Awá March Anti-Corruption and Pro-Territory. Photography by J. Hazlewood on 8 July 2007.

“Protecting the Environment, the life and lungs of Ecuador” — Awá Anti-Corruption and Pro-Territory March, 8 July 2007. Photo by J. Hazlewood.

We need as many signatures as possible in order to accomplish two things: 1) to demonstrate to the palm oil companies, the judge, and the pertinent authorities of the Ecuadorian state that the whole world is watching; and 2) to show the communities of humans and more-than-humans in the Pacific Rainforests of northwest Ecuador that they are not alone in their struggles. With your signatures you join a collective appeal to the pertinent authorities of the Ecuadorian State, that through their administration of justice the verdict constitutes a true paradigm shift in favor of the Rights of Nature, and guarantees the future of the children and grandchildren of our communities.

Read the full petition and sign here.

You can also support the communities by liking this Facebook page, where you can find updates and further information about the case of La Chiquita, Guadalito and Nature against the palm oil companies.

In Solidarity and with Hope,

The members of the Afro-Ecuadorian community La Chiquita
The members of the Awá Indigenous community Guadualito


Julianne A. Hazlewood, Ph.D., Researcher in the San Lorenzo Canton since 1997 and Coordinator of the Te Ha Alliance for Indigenous Knowledge, The Cultural Conservancy, San Francisco, California.

Flavia Carlet, Ph.D.(c), Centro de Estudios Sociales, Universidad de Coimbra, Portugal, and Member of la Red de Abogados y Abogadas Populares de Brasil.

Clelio Germán Ortiz Quiñones, President of the Community of Guadalito, San Lorenzo Canton, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.

Isaha Esequiel Valencia Cuero, President of the Community of La Chiquita, San Lorenzo Canton, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.