QUITO, ECUADOR – Dozens of members of the Cofan and Waorani indigenous ethnic groups arrived at the headquarters of the Constitutional Court in Quito, on Thursday, to protest and demand that the court unifies a series of cases that these groups have won, so it establishes a legal precedent.
Footage shows the group of protesters dressed in their traditional clothes at the courthouse, where they held a small rally to reiterate their call to enforce the court’s ruling.
“These people have come today to tell the court to protect their life, their territory, in a culturally appropriate way. And let their word be heard. They have summed up the issue to the court very well: ‘if you are going to decide something that is going to affect us, you can’t decide it without us’,” said one protester.
According to Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution, in order to carry out any type of extractive activity in an indigenous territory, prior consultation with the resident indigenous communities must take place.