Andean countries rejected Amazon company's demand to have exclusive rights to the domain name as it refers to their geographic region and should not be monopolized.
The presidents of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia criticized a recent decision by the organization that manages internet protocol to grant global retailer Amazon Inc the rights to the .amazon domain.
Amazon Inc has been seeking the exclusive rights to the .amazon domain name since 2012. But the Amazon basin countries - including Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia - have argued it refers to their geographic region and should not be the monopoly of one company.
The four leaders - Peru's Martin Vizcarra, Colombia's Ivan Duque, Ecuador's Lenin Moreno, and Bolivia's Evo Morales - vowed to join forces to protect their countries from what they described as inadequate governance of the internet.
Last week, the global Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees internet addresses, said it decided to proceed with the designation requested by Amazon Inc pending a 30-day period of public comment.
The decision sets "a grave precedent by prioritizing private commercial interests above the considerations of state public policies, the rights of Indigenous people and the preservation of the Amazon," Vizcarra, Duque, Moreno, and Morales said in a joint statement Sunday after a gathering in Lima of the Andean Community regional bloc Andean Community of Nations (CAN).
They added that Latin American and Caribbean countries agreed in 2013 to reject any attempt to appropriate the Amazon name or any other name that refers to geography, history, culture or nature without the consent of countries in the region.
Brazil, home to the largest swath of the Amazon forest, has also lamented ICANN's decision.
The CAN also commemorated the 50th anniversary of the bloc, one of the oldest in the region, while concluding its first summit in eight years.
Apart from the decision on the Amazon, the leaders also committed themselves to "advance in the construction of a vision for the future that prioritizes an Andean digital agenda.”
In addition, they urged to reinforce and extend the "energy interconnection between Andean countries and other countries in the region."
Bolivian President Evo Morales assumed the rotating presidency of the CAN for a year and convened a summit in Bolivia in 2020.
In the end, the four member countries also committed to strengthen free trade in the CAN, promote gender equality and welcomed the peace process in Colombia.
The issue of Venezuela was omitted out in the final declaration especially after the community secretary general pleaded at the summit for the return of that country to the bloc.
"The Andean Community is the most suitable instrument to reinsert Venezuela into markets and trade,” said Jorge Hernando Pedraza, secretary general of the CAN.
"In short, the hope is that one day, Chile and Venezuela will come back and we will have a great CAN," he added.
Venezuela was part of the CAN until 2006 when it left the bloc due to disagreements with Colombia and Peru for signing a free trade agreement with the United States.