Report of the Ministry of Justice about peoples in voluntary isolation is questioned
According to anthropologist Eduardo Pichilingue, the fact that the Government has failed to find evidence of the existence of the tagaeri and the taromenane, considered as tribes in voluntary isolation, in the fields of the Yasuní-ITT (blocks 31 and 43), is due to the lack of “sufficient efforts” by the Ecuadorian State to find them.
Pichilingue, who is part of the Observatory of Collective Rights of Ecuador said this referring to the report prepared by the Ministry of Justice at the request of President Rafael Correa in order to ask the National Assembly to declare of national interest the exploitation of the ITT, so they can start right away.
The report consisting of eleven pages, indicates that these fields are not inhabited by isolated indigenous population, neither are a transit area.
The study also indicates that “settlement patterns’ of the peoples in voluntary isolation show they inhabit in ” interfluvial, not flooded areas, ranging between 250 and 450 metres above sea level “, and these characteristics do not correspond to the blocks 31 and 43.
The former Minister of the environment and current legislator, Marcela Aguinaga, says that to reach these conclusions, the Ministry of Justice collected testimony from surrounding communities, did tours with technical indigenous, took satellite photos, and placed camera “traps” in “strategic sites” although so far “they have only managed to capture pictures of the fauna”.