PART 2 of 2
Mario Murillo is a veteran community radio practitioner and currently serves as the Vice Dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. Mario has been a guest as well as a guest host on “First Voices Radio” on many occasions. We are grateful to him for providing this invaluable content to “First Voices Radio.” We wish to thank Media Scholar and Producer Mario Murillo for the great audio and interviews that he contributed to today’s edition of “First Voices Radio,” Dejusticia and all the participants who were able to contribute to Parts 3 and 4 of an original 4-part series (Parts 1 and 2 were heard on last week's show), where from December 10th through December 22, the Bogota-based international human rights organization DeJusticia hosted its Second Global Workshop for Indigenous Leaders in the Ecuadorian Amazon, specifically in the Kichwa territory of Sarayaku, on the banks of the Bobonasa River. For over a week, up to fifteen indigenous activists from Latin America, Africa, and Asia gathered alongside members of the Sarayaku community to discuss strategies of resistance to extractive industries, intransigent governments, and militarization in their territories. The Sarayaku have been an international symbol of successful resistance to rampant, destructive encroachment on indigenous territory worldwide and defense of the environment and indigenous rights. After years of multi-faceted organizing on a local, national and international level against the Ecuadoran government and the Argentinian oil giant CGC (Compañia General de Combustibles), which looked to exploit the potential oil resources within their territory in 2002 without prior consultation with the community, the Sarayaku successfully won an important judgment from the Inter-American Court for Human Rights. But their struggle to defend the territory stretches many decades back and continues today. In this 3rd segment, I share more of my conversation with Yaku Feliz Guateri, the director for International Relations of the Sarayaku. I asked him to give us a little more of the history of the Sarayaku’s role in the national movement for indigenous rights in Ecuador.
In this fourth segment from the Second Global Workshop for Indigenous Leaders held in Sarayaku territory, in the south-western part of the Ecuadoran Amazon, from December 14th through the 22, we hear from one of the participants who traveled over 24 hours just to get to Ecuador from her native Nepal. Subha Ghale is the founding secretary of the organization Indigenous People’s Trust of Nepal and talks about the parallel struggles between the Sarayaku people and the communities she represents back home. She salutes the level of autonomy and struggle that the Sarayaku have achieved within the national context of Ecuador, and describes how in Nepal, indigenous communities still have a long way to go to achieve similar recognition from the state. She reflects on why the Global Workshop was so important in building this international network. The segment begins with a brief montage of sounds from the rainforest, including the voice of an indigenous elder describing in Kichwa the community’s ongoing protection of the jungle, the Kawsak Sacha. We also hear from Sarayaku leader Jose Gualinga, linking their work with the deliberations of the COP 24 in Poland, which had come to an end the same day we convened for the workshop. And finally, a magical reading by indigenous attorney Mariana Yanes Unda, representing the Triquis community from Oaxaca, Mexico, who wrote a dramatic ode to the Sarayaku as part of the writing workshop.