On Sunday, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) held the administration of President Guillermo Lasso responsible for the shooting of Eduardo Mendua, who died in an Amazon area where Indigenous communities are fighting with oil companies.
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"It is with great sadness that I receive the news of the vile murder of brother Eduardo Mendua, CONAIE's international relations leader... I request the prompt action of justice so that this case does not go unpunished," said Jose Cali, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Eduardo Mendua, who was assassinated by hitmen who violently entered his farm in the province of Orellana, was one of the most visible faces of the Indigenous resistance as he had been repeatedly denouncing the actions of the oil companies against the communities.
"This criminal act is not isolated as 10 senior leaders have received threats since June 2022, following protests against Lasso's economic policies," CONAIE President Leonidas Iza said.
In the area where the murder took place, the Indigenous peoples have been demanding respect for constitutional and international regulations related to the right of communities to be consulted before any oil activity is carried out in their territories.
Instead of this "prior consultation" process taking place, oil companies have attempted to forcibly occupy Indigenous territories.
Iza also denounced that the CONAIE leaders endure permanent persecution and asked the international organizations to monitor and protect the lives of the social leaders in Ecuador.