Amazon Watch
Spring 2013

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Dear Friends,

I have just returned from the Skoll World Forum, an inspiring gathering of global change makers where the theme was "disruption" as a force for catalyzing social change.

Earth Day is around the corner! It's a time to ask what each of us can be doing to "disrupt" the status quo and catalyze societal shifts towards a more just and livable world. Spring reminds us to renew our commitment to protecting Mother Earth and her lungs, the tropical rainforests.

At Amazon Watch, we're turning up the pressure on forest-destroyers and their financial backers: bringing indigenous leaders to oil company meetings to confront decision makers, pursuing legal action to hold corporations accountable and supporting indigenous peoples' battles to protect their rainforest homelands.

Global leaders are confirming what we know: the Amazon is critical to stabilizing the climate and to the future of our planet. They're ready to join you and me and the courageous indigenous communities on the frontlines in promoting alternatives to Amazon destruction. This Earth Month, let's step it up and make future generations proud.

For the earth and future generations,

Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani

Atossa Soltani
Executive Director

The Amazon is Not for Sale!

The Amazon is Not for Sale!

Indigenous leaders from five nationalities affected by the 11th Round in Ecuador met in defense of their rainforest territories. The oil round seeks to auction off nearly ten million acres including some of Ecuador's last remaining primary tropical forests. The area is home to seven indigenous nationalities – Shuar, Achuar, Kichwa, Shiwiar, Andoa, Zápara, and Waorani – who depend upon their natural environment for cultural survival. For several of these groups, oil extraction on the scale proposed by the government could mean their extinction. The meeting in Puyo resulted in a firm declaration of opposition to the 11th Round.

Video: A Message from the Achuar to Canada

Video: A Message from the Achuar

Watch this special message from Achuar leader Peas Peas Ayui, who called up from the Amazon to be sure that we recorded and delivered his words of gratitude to allies at Public Interest Alberta's advocacy conference Fighting for our Future: People Power vs Corporate Control. "Every day, across the globe, society suffers the environmental and social impacts of extractive industries. The history of the extractive industries is filled with negative stories," he said. "Thanks to the many actions taken in defense of our territory we have achieved a great victory: a large and powerful corporation, Talisman, has been forced to leave our ancestral territory and Oil Block 64."

We Beat Chevron, but the Fight for Real Justice Continues

We Beat Chevron, but the Fight for
Real Justice Continues

This month Amazon Watch won a major victory in the face of Chevron's massive legal efforts against us! Chevron's efforts to significantly disrupt our work and threaten our ability to campaign against their reprehensible actions in Ecuador were entirely quashed in a U.S. Federal Court. Chevron actually sought to strip the communities in Ecuador of an ally in their fight, but Amazon Watch is not about to abandon our partners – those communities brave enough to take on the second largest oil company in the United States – and win.

Reopening the Wounds of Bagua

Reopening the Wounds of Bagua

Nearly four years ago gunshots in the Peruvian Amazon were heard around the world. On June 5 2009, the Peruvian anti-riot police evicted indigenous protesters blocking a road near the town of Bagua, resulting in violence in the place known as The Devil's Curve and a death toll of 34 people. Last month, the Superior Court of Bagua heard arguments about the proposed charges against 54 indigenous leaders in the case. The state prosecutor has asked for the most severe charges, including life sentences. These charges are not about bringing to justice those responsible for the deaths of either policemen or protestors; the criminal process has instead served to criminalize social protest and intimidate grassroots leaders.

Luciano's Belo Monte Poem:

Luciano's Belo Monte Poem:
"Volta Grande do Xingu"

Listen to a beautiful, honest poem written and read by 13-year-old Luciano Gouveia de Moraes Silva by candlelight from his family's home on the banks of the mighty Xingu River, deep in the Brazilian Amazon. "Big Bend of the Xingu/A place where terror is being made/They are destroying such a beautiful river..." Shocking. Paradise has been ripped from under this kid as the Brazilian government plows forward to build Belo Monte, the world's 3rd largest hydroelectric dam on his playground and one of the Amazon's major tributaries, the Xingu River.

  Send an eCard for Earth Day!

Send an eCard
from the Amazon
for Earth Day!

  Amazon Watch's 2012 Annual Luncheon

DAMOCRACY documentary launches Fri 4/19
Watch and share!


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