1 million signatures to halt oil exploration in Ecuadorean Amazon
Thursday, February 7, 2013
A campaign to stop oil exploration in the Ecuadorean Amazon has collected more than a million online signatures in just over a week. The community of Sani Isla has been resisting intrusions by Ecuador's state-run oil company Petroamazonas.
The petition was organised by the campaign group Avaaz and calls on Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, to stop oil exploration in the Amazon and uphold the Ecuadorean constitution.
Fears have grown over whether the state oil company would use the army to secure land for a seismic study.
"Sani Isla has said no to oil. That's not easy because oil dominates. We are a tiny speck against a huge corporation. But we are doing this not just for us, but for the world," Patricio Jipa, a spokesman for the community, told a press conference in Quito.
"This is special. It's a David and Goliath story that fascinates people. Our mobilisation has helped to amplify a small voice by sharing it with others in the world," he said.
"If Correa sells out to the oil barons he will shred Ecuador's constitution and sacrifice one of our planet's beautiful treasures to become an oilfield," said Abramovy.
Ecuador auctioned off the rights to several new oil blocks in the Amazon last November.
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