April 30, 2009

Welcome

“MY FATHER IS AHUA.  HE IS A GREAT WARRIOR, HE DEFENDED OUR HUAORANI TERRITORY WITH HARDWOOD SPEARS.  NOW I MUST DEFEND OUR TERRITORY AND OME, THE RAINFOREST, WITH DOCUMENTS AND LAW, SPEAKING SPANISH, AND TRAVELLING FAR AWAY LIKE THE HARPY EAGLE.”

Penti Baihua, Bameno Community Leader and Coordinator, Ome Gompote Kiwigimoni Huaorani (We Defend Our Huaorani Territory), “Ome Yasuni”

 

“MY MESSAGE IS THAT WE ARE LIVING HERE. WE ARE LIVING BIEN (IN A GOOD WAY). NO MORE [OIL] COMPANIES SHOULD COME, BECAUSE ALREADY THERE ARE ENOUGH. THEY NEED TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE PROBLEMS; I WANT THEM TO COMPREHEND WHAT WE ARE LIVING. MANY COMPANIES WANT TO ENTER, EVERYWHERE. BUT THEY DO NOT HELP; THEY HAVE COME TO DAMAGE THE FOREST. INSTEAD OF GOING HUNTING, THEY CUT DOWN TREES TO MAKE PATHS. INSTEAD OF CARING FOR [THE FOREST], THEY DESTROY. WHERE THE COMPANY LIVES, IT SMELLS NASTY; THE ANIMALS HIDE; AND WHEN THE RIVER RISES, THE MANIOC AND PLANTAIN IN THE LOW AREAS HAVE PROBLEMS. WE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE LIVE. WE LIKE THE TOURISTS BECAUSE THEY COME, AND GO AWAY. WHEN THE COMPANY COMES, IT DOES NOT WANT TO LEAVE. NOW [THE COMPANY] IS IN THE HABIT OF OFFERING MANY THINGS; IT SAYS THAT IT COMES TO DO BUSINESS, BUT THEN IT MAKES ITSELF INTO THE OWNER. WHERE THE COMPANY HAS LEFT ITS ENVIRONMENT, WE CANNOT RETURN. IT STAYS BAD. SOMETHING MUST REMAIN FOR US. WITHOUT TERRITORY, WE CANNOT LIVE. IF THEY DESTROY EVERYTHING, WHERE WILL WE LIVE? WE DO NOT WANT MORE COMPANIES, OR MORE ROADS. WE WANT TO LIVE LIKE HUAORANI, WE WANT OTHERS TO RESPECT OUR CULTURE.”

Kemperi Baihua, Bameno Community Leader and and Shaman, “Message to the Peoples Who Live Where the Oil Companies Come From”

 


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