(The following is a statement from OPIP (Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Pastaza). They are organizing a "Compania Tunqui" against oil exploration in their province. One of OPIP's directors, Lucas Yasacama, stresses their desperate need for financial support to carry on this campaign against oil companies. At the end of this note there is information on where such donations can be sent, if you are so inclined.)

Declaration of the Quichua and Shuar Nations Before the Government, ARCO, and International Opinion

(from the Voz de la CONFENIAE, 10:2 (Nov., Dec., Jan. 1994), p. 5)

In front of the devastating advance of the petroleum policies of successive Ecuadorian governments as well as the transnational interests in the traditional territory of the Indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon and particularly in the Province of Pastaza, the Quichua and Shuar nations gathered together in more than 133 communities are preoccupied for the grave social consequences that has been provoked in Ecuador's Amazon region for more than 20 years. These petroleum policies have allowed the drastic reduction of traditional indigenous territories, the irrational exploitation of wood, the invasion of tourist enterprises, the disappearance of the bio-diversity, contamination of rivers, air, earth, the proliferation of unknown diseases, cultural deterioration, the gradual impoverishment of the indigenous populations, etc. These effects have placed on the edge of collapse 50% of the Amazonian region, and has contributed to the process of the extinction of the Cofan, Siona, Secoya, and Huaorani people of this region.

In front of this sober panorama and insecurity in the future of the indigenous people in the Amazon, more than 230 indigenous representatives of the 133 Quichua and Shuar communities of the Province of Pastaza met in the community of Villano from December 15 to 19, 1993 to analyze the presence of the ARCO oil company in Block 10 of Quichua territory as well as the upcoming Seventh Round of Petroleum Auctions which the current Ecuadorian government will undertake in January 1994. These auctions involve approximately 600,000 hectares of indigenous territory in Pastaza and more than 800,000 hectares of indigenous territory in the provinces of Napo, Sucumbios, and Morona Santiago.

Declaration of Villano

* The Quichua and Shuar nations resolve to create a representative commission of the Indigenous Nationalities of Pastaza in order to carry forward the process of dialogue and negotiation with the Ecuadorian government and the ARCO company. The commission will consider the development of petroleum in Pastaza, indigenous participation, implementation of plans to mitigate and prevent the social, cultural, environmental, and economic impact in traditional territories.

* Undertake urgent actions, together with CONFENIAE, ECUARUNARI, COISE, and CONAIE with an eye toward unifying strategies, proposals, actions, and communal efforts with the goal of developing a common policy which can be presented to the Ecuadorian state which would contribute to sustainable policy for using non-renewable resources in the Amazonian region.

* The 133 Quichua and Shuar communities in Pastaza call on all of the petroleum companies which are interested in participating in the Seventh Round of Petroleum Auctions that they understand the tragic consequences and the grave danger of the social, environmental, economic and cultural collapse of indigenous peoples who inhabit the Amazon region, and therefore refrain from participating in this round.

* The Quichua and Shuar Nations of Pastaza call on the ARCO company and the Ecuadorian government to immediately suspend the construction of the Triunfo-Villano road as well as the construction of the Villano-Baeza oil pipeline. Rather, they should use air transport to lessen and avoid the social, cultural, and environmental impact in indigenous territories.

* In order to advance and accomplish these proposals, we unanimously agree to develop a campaign to raise consciousness, spread information, and encourage ongoing actions on the level of local communities, the Ecuadorian population, and in front of the international opinion.

Donations to help OPIP in their struggle against the oil companies can be sent to:

Banco Holandes Unido
Quito Branch
Avenida Amazonas 4247
P.O. Box 17-17-1534
Quito, Ecuador
South America
Tel. 593-2-460333
Fax: 593-2-443154

Name of the account: "OPIP"
Legal representative: Hector Villamil, President of OPIP
Account number: 40.46.641

Note: before placing money in this account, please send a note to OPIP indicating that the money is for the exclusive use of the "Compania Tunqui."

Organizacion de Pueblos Indigenas de Pastaza (OPIP)
Tnte. Ortiz y Gral. Villamil
Apartado 790
Puyo, Pastaza
Ecuador, South America
Tel. and Fax: 593-3-885461

(Unofficial translations by Marc Becker.)