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45894oil in Ecuador : two indigenous groups

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  • Teresa Binstock
    Jan 3, 2014
      'After all the people we killed, we felt dizzy.'

      By Bethany Horne

      3 January 2014

      A massacre, a twice-kidnapped girl and Big Oil star in a messy drama rattling Ecuador.

      Land is at the heart of the decades-old conflict between the Taromenane and the Huaorani. Since the first oil boom in the 1960s and 1970s and the Huaorani tribe's initial integration into mainstream Ecuadorean society, their population in the Amazon has exploded. The Huaorani now number more than 2,000, and their population boom has slowly pushed the Taromenane deeper into the jungle. The oil companies that the Huaorani allow into their territory, like Repsol, also create pressure.

      Ecuador's indigenous confederation says that many of the conflicts over the years between the Huaorani and the Taromenane are due to the presence of oil companies. As the last tribe that still exclusively hunts and gathers to survive, the Taromenane are the most vulnerable to major changes to jungle land use, and their response when under pressure has been to attack. To kill.