Wednesday, May 10, 2006
PEOPLE OF ECUADOR WANT THEIR SHARE OF OIL REVENUES
In Ecuador yesterday police on motorcycles, with dogs and using tear gas bombs attacked 150 people violently at Plaza de la Independencia. The marchers were there to voice thier opposition to the government´s intention to parley a new contract with US Oxy Oil Corporation.
The small country on the western coast of South America is the eighth-largest supplier of oil to the U.S. As in other nations awash in oil money, the sight of so much wealth flowing to foreign corporations has exacerbated the frustrations of many Ecuadoreans, who confront widespread poverty.
Oxy, which has been operating in eastern Ecuador for 20 years, extracts nearly 100,000 crude oil barrels a day and gives 12 percent to the State. The company generated 7% of its worldwide production from its Ecuador fields last year and is the country's top private producer.
The Los Angeles company earned $5.2 billion last year on revenues of $15.2 billion. In the past three years its shares have tripled in value
The first article below is from Prensa Latina. The second article is from MISNA.
Oxy Unraveling Ecuador Govt
The Ecuadorian administration´s longing to renegotiate with US Oxy Oil Corp, despite rejection by the population, is inflaming the national political scene, where deputies are already calling to bring President Alfredo Palacio to trial.
Tuesday, the government had to deal with a first warning, when thousands of people from the Amazon descended on the capital, Quito, to demand that the contract with Oxy, polluter and violator of 30 national regulations, be allowed to expire.
Amazonian leaders, joined by indigenous and political movements, gave the government a 15-day deadline to cancel the contract or they would restart protests.
Meanwhile, various deputies are collecting signatures to begin political trials against Palacio, Energy Minister Ivan Rodriguez, and Attorney General Jose Maria Borja.
INDIGENOUS PROTESTS RESUME FOR NATIONALISATION OF HYDROCARBONS
After a few weeks of ‘truce’ thousands of indigenous of the Amazon regions returned on the streets of Quito, demanding the nationalisation of hydrocarbons and the expulsion from the nation of the US Oxy oil company, accused of violating its contract with the government: “We are here to consign to the authorities a manifesto approved by all the communities of Pastaza, Morona Santiago, Sucumbíos, Napo, Zamora and Chinchipe, in which we call on the government to rescind the accord with Oxy and to not sign the Free Trade Accord with the United States”, stated Guadalupe Llori, prefect of the Orellana province. “We will not tolerate another farce in detriment to the Ecuadorians. Oxy has to go because it blatantly violated the laws in force”, added Gilberto Talahua, co-ordinator of the ‘Movimiento Pachakitik’, political wing of the Confederation of Indigenous Nations (CONAIE). The Attorney General’s office charges the American company with selling, without consulting the Ecuadorian State, 40% of its oil extraction rights in an Amazonian well to the Canadian ‘Encana’: after insisting on the annulment of the contract, in the past days it however suggested new negotiations to consent the company to continue operating in Ecuadorian territory. In return, Oxy offered $20million in damages to Quito and 50% of the surplus proceeds from the hike in oil prices on the world market. A proposal judged “petty” even by the State ‘Petroecuador’ oil company.