The Shuar Arutam People ratify its opposition to the Warintza mining project in response to a public announcement about advanced exploration and attempts to seek additional investments to expand a project that has not undergone a consultation process
The Governing Council of the Shuar Arutam People (CGPSHA), as the highest organizing body and representative of the 47 centres and 6 associations that make up our organization; as legitimately elected through General Assembly on March 31, 2023 in accordance with our Plan for Life and Statutes; with legal status (Resolution No. SGDPN-DRCPN-2023-0229-R of the Secretariat of Management and Development of Peoples and Nationalities); in the full exercising of our collective rights as recognized in Article 57 of the [Ecuadorian] Constitution and by ILO Convention 160; in light of public announcements that the Warintza project will proceed to advanced exploration,1 and given that Solaris Resources Inc. and its subsidiary Lowell are seeking additional investments for the advanced exploration phase2 and that there is interest from Chinese investors;3 WE DECLARE THE FOLLOWING:
- The PSHA was formed – in accordance with our human and collective right to self determination as recognized by the Ecuadorian Constitution and by international treaties – through our own decision-making processes during the First General Assembly held between March 28-31, 2003 and was registered with the Development Council of the Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador (CODENPE) on September 7, 2006 through Resolution No. 255. Exercising our rights to preserve and develop our own organizations and forms of self-government, we built our Life Plan and Charter that is enforced across the ancestral territory of the Shuar Arutam People. WE ARE A SELF-GOVERNING AND ANCESTRAL ORGANIZATION, CONSTITUTED AND RECOGNIZED LEGITIMATELY AND LEGALLY.
- According to Article 57 of the Constitution and the articles of ILO Convention 169, Indigenous territories are inalienable. We must be consulted on any decision or activity that affects us, in accordance with our own organizing structures.
- As indicated in our Life Plan and Charter, the pillars to the life of our people are: “Territory,” “Ancestral Wisdom,” “Living in Harmony with Nature, using it well and conserving it,” and “Achieving the ‘Tarimiat Pujustin.’” Based on our ideology, our cosmovision is autonomy and self government. For us, wealth has always been a family that lives together with its forests, with its gods, that knows how to laugh, have parties, hunt, fish, the river, the fruits of the trees, the toads and the worms that we eat. Wealth is not that which comes from outside, it is ours, the wealth of our culture, our way of life, our ideas. For this reason, we oppose the mining companies who threaten to destroy our life-giving territory.
- We are concerned about the serious impacts that the Mirador project has already caused and that could worsen, as recent research warns. This reinforces our strong position of opposing widespread harm in our territory.
- In 2006, we expelled the Lowell company and the Warintza mining project from our territory. On November 1 of that year, the company's manager signed an act in which he ratified the abandonment of the project.
- In 2019, we announced publicly that "PSHA already decided"4 and filed a complaint before the ILO for a lack of consultation and consent of the PSHA for this re-activated project, as well for the Panantza San Carlos project (for which we already have obtained a favourable ruling, recognizing that our rights were violated).5
- Nevertheless, the company has continued to cause division and conflicts in our community, using strategies to compromise two communities (Yawi and Warints) through agreements or by delivering goods and services that should be the responsibility of the government, given they are basic rights such as health or education for our young people. The company has also formed the “Strategic Alliance” (“Alianza Estratégica”), using as a spokesperson to supposedly represent our people a former Shuar leader who has no legitimacy to represent us. WE FIRMLY OPPOSE THAT LOWELL CONTINUES TO PROMOTE DIVISION AMONG OUR PEOPLE.
- Likewise, in light of efforts by the company to make decision about what takes place on our territory, signing an agreement with the president of FISCH, we PROCLAIMED OUR AUTONOMY on August 13, 2013 and self-identify as a base of CONFENAIE and CONAIE. WE REJECT THE CONTINUED EFFORTS TO PROMOTE DIVISION IN OUR ORGANIZATIONS AND WE REITERATE THE FACT THAT WE ARE AUTONOMOUS.
- Since we assumed PSHA leadership on March 31, 2023, Lowell has insisted that it has a draft of a supposed agreement. In light of this and misrepresentations of our organization, we sent a letter in September to the head of Corporate Relations for Lowell, Mr. Jairo Becerra, in an effort to stop him causing division among our People and to stop interfering in our policies and activities. WE RATIFY THAT WE HAVE MADE NO COMMITMENTS TO THE COMPANY AND WE RATIFY THAT THEY DO NOT INTERFERE IN OUR ORGANIZATION.
- Furthermore, we REJECT ALL ACTS OF INTIMIDATION against our Governing Council for defending our position, in light of receiving letters signed by the company’s “Strategic Alliance,” using the Yawi and Warintz communities to put pressure on us.
- We regret that the outgoing Ecuadorian government has promoted that there exists “assertive mechanisms for dialogue focused on consolidating community relations,” when OUR RIGHTS TO CONSENT AND CONSULTATION HAVE NOT BEEN RESPECTED.
- For all of the above:
- WE REJECT THE GRANTING OF PERMITS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE WARINTZA PROJECT, due to the violations of our rights and the divisions it has caused. WE DEMAND THAT THE ECUADORIAN GOVERNMENT RESPECT AND ENFORCE OUR COLLECTIVE RIGHTS TO TERRITORY AND CONSENT.
- WE OPPOSE ANY ENTITY PROVIDING ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT FOR THIS PROJECT IN OUR TERRITORY OR ANY ATTEMPT TO SELL THE PROJECT TO ANOTHER COMPANY USING AND PROMOTING THE NAME OF THE SHUAR PEOPLE.
- WE ISSUE AN ALERT about the violations committed by the company and we reserve the right to take lawful action.
Statement issued and signed in Sucúa on November 20, 2023.
Jaime Palomino Ungucha, PRESIDENT of the Pueblo Shuar Arutam
Fany Kaekat, GESTIÓN EXTERNA
Vicente Uwijint GESTIÓN EXTERNA
Franco Chumpi EJECUTIVO TERRITORIO
Cristóbal Tsamaraint EJECUTIVO EDUCACIÓN
José Sharian EJECUTIVO SALUD
Luis Chiriap, EJECUTIVO COMUNICACIÓN
Fredy Ayui, EJECUTIVO AGROPECUARIO
Ambrosio Wamputsar, EJECUTIVO RR.NN
Benito Puenchir, PTE. ASOC. MAYAIK
Luís Tiwiram, PTE. ASOC. ARUTAM
Vinicio Nankamai, PTE. ASOC. CHURUWIA
Enrique Nantip, PTE. ASOC. SINIP
Carlos Jindiachi, COMISIÓN DE CONTROL Y VEEDURÍA
Marco Pitiur, COMISIÓN DE CONTROL Y VEEDURÍA
Alberto Mashu, CONSEJO DE SABIOS
 Constitutional Court of Ecuador, Ruling 1325-15-EP