Maxus denies reports that its oil wells were seized and says that the company's position will be published soon in a local paper.
Concerned individuals are encouraged to contact Maxus Energy Corp. CEO Charles L. Blackburn at:
717 N. Harwood St.
Dallas, TX 75201
Following is a translation of ONHAE's April 20 press advisory:
"This measure has been taken due to the practice Maxus has always used to weaken the Huaorani organization rather then strengthen their development as a people," declared Hector Villamil, President of the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Pastaza (OPIP).
"We have decided in an meeting in Puyo." Villamil continued, "to invite top authorities from the government, the company and indigenous organizations to a meeting where the aspirations of the Huaorani people can become reality."
"Since its arrival to this country, Maxus has implemented an intensive plan of persecution in an effort to weaken the Huaorani people's resistance and buy off their conscience and will to be free. Through giving gifts of no value, some foodstuffs and work tools, Maxus has tried to control and de-organize our people," declared the Huaoranis.
The company's paternalistic actions in the form of occasional support, minimal economic resources and the loss autonomy for the Huaorani organization (ONHAE) make impossible the fulfillment of the "Agreement of Friendship, Respect and Mutual Support between the Huaorani people and Maxus Ecuador Inc." that was signed over a year ago, the region's indigenous leaders explain.
When this agreement was signed Maxus skillfully hid many realities, such as: % The company never specified the drilling technique Maxus uses to reduce impacts generates more toxic waste during the drilling process; % The company concealed data such as that during seismic testing it deforested 1,317 hectares (3,161 acres), opening 2634 kms of seismic lines. %The Huaorani people never participated in the design nor implementation of any environmental impact studies. These were carried out by a consultant contracted by Maxus. % Neither in the agreement nor in their studies did the company discuss the cultural, social or economic impacts that the 180 km road would cause. This road has interrupted the ecological life of the plants and animals that live in this area cris-crossed by 333 rivers and streams. % Maxus concealed that it contracted the Brazilian company Andrade-Gutierrez which was justly sanctioned in its own country for bribing government employees. % In addition to this, the company contracted with lumber traffickers, cut the natural flow of streams causing their stagnation, thus affecting the Huaorani people's diet. The company never consulted the Huaorani people in the design, planning, implementation and monitoring of the environmental management plan put into operation by Maxus.
In regards to cultural effects, many members of the Huaorani people and other indigenous peoples as well that worked for the company have abandoned their traditions such as hunting and fishing, causing disintegration of family relations. The poor disposal of human waste has affected people's health. There has also been a change in mentality and attitude about the threat of oil activities.
Divisiveness, human rights violations and deceit are at the vertex of this agreement which the Huaorani people reject and for this reason are now calling for a meeting with the highest level state and company officials.
1. Defend and protect the cultural, organizational and territorial integrity of the Huaorani people.
2. Guarantee the Huaorani people's participation in the decision making process for Block 16 oil development and all activities in the area of influence.
3. Guarantee the fulfillment of the Huaorani people's political, economic, social and organizational rights.
4. Consolidate the process of dynamic and reciprocal integration and interaction between the Huaorani people and the rest of national society based on relations of mutual respect.
5. Economic participation in just terms for the integral and autonomous development of the Huaorani people.
To this end, the Huaorani people have developed a "Integral Self-development Plan" for the next twenty years in which ONHAE will be the only organizational representative, and any decision without its participation will be lacking.
Fraternal organization that sign this proposal with the Huaoranis suggest that both civilian and military society, just as they did during the recent armed conflict, join together in an efforts to guarantee this continuity as a people in function of greater national objectives.
Armando Boya Bailwa,
Vice President of ONHAE
President of OPIP
April 20, 1995
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador