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One of the Tribe
CofanAchuarSarayaku Kichwa (Quichua)

Originally warriors, craftsmen and traders, the Cofan are now leading indigenous conservation efforts and care for over one million acres of Amazon rainforest in northeastern Ecuador. Numbering less than 2,000, their culture and ancestral language, A'ingae, nevertheless remain strong. However, many still live in communities devastated by decades of oil extraction and suffer high rates of cancer, miscarriages, birth defects and skin conditions. That's why the Cofan have partnered with other indigenous communities to launch a powerful initiative to develop their own solutions to the water and health crisis affecting their territory.

One of the Tribe proudly supports the Cofan and their efforts.

The Texaco/Chevron Case

1964 marked the arrival of Texaco and the beginning of an environmental nightmare that continues to threaten the health of the Amazon Rainforest and its indigenous guardians. Backed by the Ecuadorian government and without consulting indigenous communities, Texaco took over ancestral lands, performed seismic testing and cut through forest that had sustained indigenous life and culture for centuries. Three decades of crude oil spills and the systematic dumping of toxic waste has contaminated Amazon land and waterways, endangering plants, animals and people.

After an 18-year lawsuit, Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – was found guilty of polluting the Ecuadorian Amazon and in 2011 was ordered to pay $19 billion in damages. But Chevron has refused to pay up or clean up and is currently running from a series of international lawsuits filed to seek seizure of its assets.

Stay informed! Check out Zoe's blog for news and recent updates about this case