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Resistance of the Native Peoples of Ecuadorian Amazon Against Extractivism
by Nicola Ókin Frioli
Published April 2023
This documentary tells the story of the resistance that the Indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon have waged against extractive companies that threaten their territories through continuous concessions and contamination caused by Texaco during its presence in the country. In 1964, Texaco (now Chevron), arrived in Ecuador with a concession of 1.5 million hectares in the provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana. At that time, they were extracting oil from 450,000 hectares. The oil giant admitted in court to having dumped 19 billion gallons of crude oil and harmful chemicals directly into unlined rivers and pools in a particularly biodiverse region of the Ecuadorian rainforest over decades. The health and future of the inhabitants were affected by contaminants present in the soil and groundwater, quantities exceeding permissible levels in Ecuador.
Following the events that indelibly marked the future of many families, the Native peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon applied different defense methodologies against mining, oil companies, and the government. Armed confrontations, national strikes and their presence in the courts were the strategies that the Indigenous nationalities used to stop the loss and destruction of their territories as they consider their environment part of their body and plants and animals are the other members of their society.
Nicola Ókin Frioli
Nicola Ókin Frioli is an Italian freelance photographer. A fine arts graduate, he has worked for 20 years in documentary photography and advertising campaigns, traveling mainly in Mexico and the Ecuadorian Amazon. His work has been published in magazines such as Washington Post, Time Magazine, The Guardian, Stern, El País Semanal and others. He has received numerous awards and held exhibitions in various countries.