Indigenous Amazonian Delegation & Climate Activists Rally Outside Summit of the Americas to Demand Amazon Protection

Monday June 06, 2022

Organizers built altar drawing attention to rights violations, pollution, corruption, deforestation, and land-theft in rainforest by industry and enabled by governments 

LOS ANGELES - Today marks the first day of the 2022 Summit of the Americas in downtown Los Angeles, California hosted by U.S. President Biden. Leaders from multiple nations across the Americas, including Ecuadorian President Lasso and Brazilian President Bolsonaro, will be attending. An Indigenous delegation from the Amazon rainforest -- alongside fenceline communities and climate organizations like Amazon Watch and Stand.earth -- welcomed summit attendees this morning. The leaders built an altar and invited all attending to bring offerings. Local artists, poets and other environmental justice groups joined in sharing their art, stories and struggles in this shared space. 

Leaders highlighting the impact of Amazon crude extraction in their daily lives. Last year, Stand.earth and Amazon Watch released Linked Fates, a groundbreaking investigative report that tracks crude oil from the Western Amazon to the United States. 89% of the crude oil exported from the Amazon comes from Ecuador and 66% of that goes to the U.S. leaving behind pollution, corruption, deforestation and rights violations.

Alicia Guzman, Stand.earth Senior Amazon Advisor:

“It's time for the leaders here in Los Angeles to actually lead and take action to protect the Amazon. The Amazonian territories and ecosystems are at a tipping point. It’s now or never. We need to ensure protection of 80% of the Amazon rainforest before 2025 or we risk planetary peril.”

Nemo Guiquita, Waorani Indigenous leader of Women and Health of CONFENIAE

“Oil drilling in our Amazon has brought contamination, disease, deforestation, destruction of our cultures, and the colonization of our territories. It is an existential threat for us and violates our fundamental rights as Indigenous peoples. We are calling for an end to all new extraction on our lands, and urging Californians to stand with us and demand Governor Newsom end the Golden State’s complicity in Amazon destruction.”

Xiomara Chingate, Amazon Watch, Event Organizer:

“We, in California, are directly being impacted by climate chaos tied to the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. This is our Interconnectedness in plain display and we’re gathering to honor and amplify the voices of all our communities impacted by the destructive climate decisions of global leaders and the continued abuse of our planet. In the evening we will be mourning the loss of all the life that will never return in the Amazon both human and non human. It is time to choose a radiant future for all beings and we hope this week will be full of open minds and wise decisions.” 

Ecuador’s President, Guillermo Lasso, who will be attending the Summit, announced plans in 2021, to double the country's oil production and to auction nearly 7 million acres (3 million hectares) of mostly roadless rainforest for new oil exploration. If extracted, this Amazon oil would likely end up in the U.S., the majority for consumption in California.

Linked Fates shows how California converts 50% of the Amazon oil exported globally into fuel for airports such as LAX, distributors such as Amazon.com, trucking fleets such as PepsiCo., and retail gas giants such as COSTCO. The refined fuel comes from controversial oil extracted in the Amazon, linked to the violation of Indigenous rights, deforestation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and also contributes to climate change. 

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CONTACTS:   

Travis Nichols, Stand.earth at +404-432-1362 or travis@stand.earth

Xiomara Chingate, Amazon Watch, Event Organizer at +1-510-365-4922

Ada Recinos, Amazon Watch at +1.510.473.7542 or ada@amazonwatch.org