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12 sept. 2007


(source : EarthSpirit Web)

Auteur : Andras Corban Arthen

Dear friends,

I apologize in advance for any multiple posts you may receive on this subject. I’m forwarding you a very distressing news report and urge you to take prompt action by writing to the addresses listed below. Of the two women mentioned in this article, I personally know and have worked with Gloria Ushigua, the Zápara leader; I’ve found her to be a strong, wise, sincere, deeply-committed, and thoroughly delightful person. Gloria is the daughter of César Ushigua, the last Zápara shimano (shaman) from Ecuador, who died a few years ago. She was taught by her father, and is now completing her training with the last remaining Zápara shaman from Perú.

Gloria Ushigua has dedicated her life to work on behalf of her people, a tiny tribe comprising just a few hundred members who live in isolated villages in the jungles of Ecuador. The Zápara were long thought to be extinct, until a few of them were sent to make contact with the outside world in the hope of securing help so that their families could survive. As a result, the government of Ecuador granted them ownership of their tribal lands, though to the Zápara, the idea that humans could “own” the Earth makes no sense. Despite that attitude, they now find themselves in the difficult position of struggling to retain that ownership as the only way to protect those lands from the multinational petrochemical corporations that want to raze the forest in order to dig wells, and the pharmaceutical conglomerates seeking to gain control of the many rare medicinal plants that abound in the Ecuadorian wilderness.

One of Gloria’s sons was murdered several years ago in retaliation for her activist efforts; now she and her collaborator, Rosa Gualinga, have been directly attacked and almost killed, and remain in dire need of medical help which, being “poor Indian women,” is being denied them. Here is a fairly recent photograph of Gloria and Rosa:

Please contact the authorities listed below --- it doesn’t matter if you can’t do it in Spanish --- to express your support for Gloria and Rosa, and make sure to tell them what country you live in, so they will understand that, truly, the whole world is watching. Feel free to forward this to any others who may also be willing to help.

In the Spirit of the Earth,
Andras Corban Arthen
Director, The EarthSpirit Community

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