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Care to Click: The rainforest blog

Rainforest: Indigenous people in the rainforest near war over oil drilling

Some of the longest standing people in the rainforest may be about to stand up to those who want more oil drilling in the rainforest, and the outcome may turn violent.
The Kichwa's tribe, whose village makes them some of people in the rainforestthe most remote people in the rainforest, say they will not abandon their land, vowing to defend it to the death from an Ecuadorian government that wants to increase oil drilling in the rainforest.
Petroamazonas - Ecuador's national oil company - will begin prospecting the land where the Kichwa reside on January 15. To ensure Petroamazonas is able to begin the process of oil drilling in the rainforest without interruption, Ecuador appears ready to send military forces.
That doesn't sit well with the Kichwa, who plan to stand their ground.
"If there is a physical fight, it is certain to end tragically," Kichwa shaman Patricio Jipa, told The Guardian. "We may die fighting to defend the rainforest. We would prefer passive resistance, but this may not be possible. We will not start conflict, but we will try to block them and then what happens will happen."

If there is a confrontation, it likely won't end well for the Kichwa. There are only about 400 people in the village, and they posses little, if any weapons to fend off the military.
Jipa, one of the most revered people in the rainforest, says the tribe has little choice other than defending its land.
"It makes me feel sad and angry," Jipa said. "Sad because we are indigenous people and not fully prepared to fight a government. And angry because we grew up to be warriors and have a spirit to defend ourselves. I wish we could use this force to fight in a new way, but our mental strength is not sufficient in this modern world. If the laws were respected we would win. But our lawyers have sent them letters and they won't even talk to us in Quito."
It's getting more and more difficult to stop countries that want to pursue oil drilling in the rainforest, particularly the Amazon rainforest. There is simply too much money in it for developing nations to turn down. Jipa needs all the help he can get, which is why we are spreading the word about the plight of the Kichwa in Ecuador.
If possible, Care To Click would like to help all the people in the rainforest preserve their way of life. You, too, can help preserve the rainforest by heading to CareToClick.com's Rainforest page. Once there you can donate a click or print some valuable coupons for everyday products. Small actions on Care2Click.com prompt donations that will help save the rainforest.
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