Rest In Power Eduardo

Memoria

9th March 2023
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On Sunday 26th February, in the small town of Dureno in the Sucumbios region of Ecuador,  two armed men wearing hoods approached the garden of A’i Cofan Indigenous community leader Eduardo Mendúa and shot him twelve times, killing him and his brother Gino Mendúa. 

Mendúa was a land defender and organiser against the ongoing oil exploration in Sucumbios. He served as the secretary of international relations of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and had recently returned from an assembly in  which they declared in one of several resolutions “We demand that companies stop their illegal & divisive activities in the communities". During the meeting, the organization announced its decision to desist from participating in a further dialogue between the Ecuadorian government and various social sectors led by the Indigenous movement, due to the lack of compliance with the agreements by Equadorian president Guillermo Lasso and the increased repression of Indigenous communities resisting extractive industries in their territories.

Over the last decade, the government-run companies Petroamazonas and Petroecuador have tried to install three platforms to open 30 oil wells. They have done this in the traditional method of Neo-Liberal corporations in South America, from Chevron to Chiquita, through sowing social discord, using vast legal might to control and influence the people, pushing political elites into action in their favour, and when that fails utilising direct and fatal violence to silence opposition.

The Ecuadorian government makes cooing noises at the international community while back home they continue to demonise and crimisalise indigenous opposition to their environmentally destructive projects while continuing to apply persistant pressure on communities as it spies with envious eyes the natural resources in their keeping. Projects are pushed threough without Free, Prior, and informed consulation. With all of this, There is no doubt why Eduardo was targetted for such violence, and tho the identity of the gunmen may never be known, who caused his death, is known to everyone.

The Organise Editorial Collective would like to expresses our condolences and solidarity with the family and loved ones of Eduardo and Gino Mendúa.

Rest In Power.■

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