Court forces Ecuador government to protect Indigenous Waorani during COVID-19
Kimberley Brown, Mongabay
Ecuador’s Indigenous Waorani community have won a lawsuit against the government, demanding it take urgent precautionary measures to better protect their community against COVID-19 sweeping through their territory in the Amazon rainforest.
A provincial court ruled that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Inclusion must better communicate and coordinate with Waorani leaders to get more COVID-19 tests, food and other necessities to communities. It also ordered the Ministry of Environment and Water to send a report detailing how it is monitoring illegal mining, logging and drug trafficking activities in the region, and to provide information on COVID-19 protocols for oil companies operating there. The lawyer for the Waorani called these industries “vectors of contagion” in the Amazon, as they never stopped during quarantine.