A dark shadow has been cast over the international climate talks in Lima, Peru – as the body of an indigenous leader opposed to a major mining project in Ecuador was recently found bound and buried. The Guardian reports that José Isidro Tendetza Antún, the former vice-president of the Shuar Federation of Zamora, had been missing since 28 November, after he was last seen heading to meet some people protesting against the Mirador copper and gold mine. After his son Jorge got a tip, his body was found in a grave marked “No Name,” with arms and legs tied by a blue rope. Tendetza was planning to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently underway in Lima, Peru.
The Guardian notes that Tendetza was offered bribes and had his crops burned in an effort to get him to leave the area. Domingo Ankuash, a Shuar leader added there were signs Tendetza was beaten and tortured. “His body was beaten, bones were broke,” Ankuash told The Guardian. “He had been tortured and he was thrown in the river. The mere fact that they buried him before telling us, the family, is suspicious.”
The Shuar people are the original inhabitants of a large part of Southern Ecuador, and are Ecuador’s second-largest indigenous group. Tendetza was a major critic of the open pit Mirador copper and gold mine owned by Ecuacorriente, a company originally owned by Canadians that was later sold to Chinese conglomerate, CCRC-Tongguan Investment. According to the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Ecuador, the mine will devastate about 450,000 acres of Ecuadorian forest.
Via The Guardian