Women Speak: Patricia Gualinga Montalvo is Leading the Fight for Climate Justice in Ecuador
Front Line Defenders has signed onto a letter from Amazon Watch and Red Acción de la Tierra y el Clima de la Mujer (WECAN) in solidarity with human rights defender Patricia Gualinga and other Indigenous rights defenders to authorities in Ecuador.
Patricia Gualinga is an indigenous rights defender and foreign relations leader of the Pueblo Kichwa de Sarayaku (Kichwa People of Sarayaku), an indigenous community based in the Ecuatorian Amazon. The Kichwa People of Sarayaku have defended their lands and livelihood from human rights violations caused by the illegal appropriation of community land without free, prior and informed consent for extractive projects. Their human rights work in preventing such violations has included a case submitted to the Inter-American System. Patricia Gualinga was one of the representatives of the case which came before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2012. The defender is currently working protecting the Kichwa People of Sarayaku from similar human rights violations resulting from oil extraction projects by Chinese companies on their land.