The Sionas and Secoyas are located in the northeastern Amazon nearby the Cofan. These groups have historic and linguistic connections with neighboring Indigenous groups in Colombia. Originally they were two separate ethnic groups with similar cultures and languages which were part of the Tucano language family. At the beginning of the twentieth century, they began to merge, particularly due to intermarriage, and by the 1970s were considered to be only one ethnic group (the Siona-Secoya). More recently, however, recognizing the advantages of maintaining their distinct ethnic identities, they now consider themselves to be two separate groups, the Sionas and Secoyas. Their territory has been devastated by oil exploration, and in November of 1993, the Sionas and Secoyas fought back by suing Texaco for more than one billion dollars for a variety of environmental abuses, including dumping more than three thousand gallons of oil a day into their lagoons.
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