Government will appeal indigenous community legal victory to stop sale of oil concessions

May 1, 2019

The government said Saturday that it will appeal a Friday court ruling that prevents it from selling oil concessions on land claimed by the indigenous Waorani nation. The court ruled that the government had failed to engage in a constitutionally mandated consultation with the Waorani prior to selling drilling rights.

Waorani leaders say they are confident they will prevail over the government’s oil exploration appeal.

In a statement, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said it will appeal the Pastaza provincial court ruling on behalf of all Ecuadorians. “In the interest of the entire nation, this decision will be appealed, and we will present documents and videos that prove compliance with all consultation standards,” the ministry said. “We believe that once all the evidence is before the court it will clear that the government was in full compliance with constitutional requirements under national and international parameters.”

The ministry argues that to allow the provincial court ruling to stand violates the rights of Ecuadorians who depend on the income from natural resources for public services, including education, health care and infrastructure.

Waorani leadership said it was disappointed in the government’s decision to appeal but said it is confident that it will be successful in the higher court.

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