Communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon are calling for an end to “violence against Indigenous peoples and nature” as a trial into a devastating oil spill resumes today. 

The Kichwa and Shuar tribes launched a lawsuit against the government and state-owned oil company Petroecuador in April after two pipelines ruptured. Around 27,000 Indigenous people already isolated by COVID-19 were left with little or no access to freshwater and fishing after more than 15,000 barrels of crude oil gushed into the Rivers Coca and Napa and downriver to Peru.

The communities are seeking “immediate measures to guarantee the supply of water, food and access to health for the populations that have been affected”, said Lina María Espinosa, lead attorney for NGO Amazon Frontlines, one of the groups bringing the case.

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