Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ecuador official: protect Indians from oil drilling

Isn't it enough to just wipe out animal species?
Ecuador's attorney general on Saturday urged the government to negotiate with oil firms to stop drilling for crude in a protected area deep in the Amazon jungle where Indian tribes hide from the outside world.


Those companies have part of their oil blocks inside the 700,000 hectare (1.7 million acre) protected area home to two tribes of hunters and gatherers known as Tagaeri and Taromenani who in 1950s decided to cut ties with the rest of the world.

"The attorney general's office considers urgent the exit of oil companies from the protected areas, via a negotiation," the office of Attorney General Xavier Garaicoa said in a statement.

The statement added that the government should include a ban on oil activities in the area in its ongoing negotiations with foreign firms to boost state participation in current deals.

President Rafael Correa, a former college professor who taught environmental economics, has vowed to protect the tribes from development after reports of deadly clashes between Indians wielding spears and illegal loggers armed with guns.

Jesus H Christ sans loincloth, for nearly 60 years these people have been isolated. They can't possibly cope with outside disease. And they certainly don't need outside influences.

Via Reuters.


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