What they really coveted was Arutam’s golden throne
February 13, 2013 1:15 PM   Subscribe

The most-storied warrior tribe in Ecuador prepares to fight as the government sells gold-laden land to China.
posted by tykky (11 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What the hell, is James Cameron releasing a new DVD? This issue deserves a lot better than associating real people with fictional cat-people.
posted by boo_radley at 1:26 PM on February 13, 2013

John Boorman did it first....Time to watch "The Emerald Forest" again...
posted by HuronBob at 1:31 PM on February 13, 2013

It's just like Avatar! Or, Western history!
posted by threeants at 2:15 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is a tragic story. They aren't going to win.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:37 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Related thread. The Yanomami have had to deal with gold miners too.
posted by homunculus at 4:02 PM on February 13, 2013

"The night before the tax was due, Shuar armies slaughtered every adult male in the Spanish hamlets and surrounded the governor’s home. They tied the governor to his bed and used a bone to push freshly melted gold down his throat, laughing and demanding to know if he had finally sated his thirst." Wow. Those guys don't like taxes.
posted by astrobiophysican at 9:14 PM on February 13, 2013

Yeah, I didn't much like the references to Avatar either, but I thought there was better and more important matter in the rest of the article that merited even a modest single-link post.
posted by tykky at 10:40 PM on February 13, 2013

While I admire the spirit of boasts like "Interlopers will be submitted to the punishment of our ancestors," I really hope, for their sake, that they have updated the tactics and weapons of their ancestors.

You know, things like firearms and cell phone cameras.
posted by snottydick at 9:04 AM on February 14, 2013

One afternoon, I stopped by ECSA’s two-story mirrored-glass corporate office, which sits at the end of El Pangui’s short and dusty commercial strip. In the lobby, a poster showed Chinese managers and local employees in hard hats working together. Another poster featuring bright green frogs advertised the company’s sponsorship of an environmental-photography contest. I was directed to the office of Ruth Salinas, ECSA’s garrulous light-skinned communications officer. She dismissed the idea that mining would undermine local agricultural and tourism and launched into a rant against the Shuar. “The Indians can’t lecture anyone on the environment!” she huffed. “They hunt, you know? They fish with poison leaves that ruin the rivers. They cut down trees. They only want money from us, but they are not responsible enough to use it. They don’t do anything but grow yucca and drink chichi beer.”

The fuck does she sleep at night? "The Indians can't lecture anyone on the environment!" Yeah, they've just been living there since before the time of Christ and “There is more diversity of life in one hectare of the Condor than all of North America combined.” BUT WHAT DO THEY KNOW THEY DRINK CHICHI BEER. !?!? I can't imagine all the rationalization she must have to do on a constant basis to keep her in denial of the terrible shit she's participating in.

You know what's expensive and hard to find? Copper and gold. You know what is priceless and cannot be replicated, replaced or recreated? This amazing place in the world and all of its inhabitants; Arutam. Throw all of the cultural baggage and bullshit stereotypes out the window, listen to this, and tell me if it is not the truth:

Corriente printed up leaflets showing people swimming in the crystal waters of this man-made lake that once contained millions of tons of cancer soup. “They think we are stupid and will believe their children’s stories,” said Ankuash, the Shuar chief. “But even our children can see through them. We know what oil drilling has done in the north of Ecuador. We know what industrial mining does. We are in contact with our indigenous friends in Chile and Peru and have learned from them. We know the companies will come in and take all the minerals, leaving devastation behind. Wherever companies are most active, the communities are weakest. Where people used to help each other, they begin to think only of themselves. Families are not as strong. Correa’s mining policy will be the end of everything. Already the exploratory drills are polluting the water.”
The Shuar are not without an alternative plan. They say they can develop the region sustainably with agriculture, small-scale ranching, dairy, and regulated small-scale traditional mining. “Industrial mining is not sustainable,” said Ankuash. “The gold and the copper will be gone in a few years, leaving behind nothing but poisoned earth for our people. We can have an economy here without destroying nature and the culture. We are open to the world. Let the people come here and see the native way — the bears, the monkeys, the trees, the cascades.”

posted by nTeleKy at 10:48 AM on February 14, 2013

The fuck does she sleep at night? "The Indians can't lecture anyone on the environment!" Yeah, they've just been living there since before the time of Christ and “There is more diversity of life in one hectare of the Condor than all of North America combined.” BUT WHAT DO THEY KNOW THEY DRINK CHICHI BEER. !?!? I can't imagine all the rationalization she must have to do on a constant basis to keep her in denial of the terrible shit she's participating in.

I don't think it's very hard for her to sleep at night. White people in Latin America quite frequently have very old-school attitudes in regards to indigenous peoples.
posted by snottydick at 11:04 AM on February 14, 2013

It's really inspirational to see people in this world that have aspirations beyond "making money" and convictions beyond "legal obligations". Thank you very much for posting this. We've got our own problems here in WI again after some newly-elected "representatives" sold us down the river and when that didn't work the first time, kept at it.

Native Resistand to Multinational Mining Corporations in Wisconsin has been successful in the past and they now own the land that was to be the Crandon mine. I wish/hope/pray for them, their relations in the south, and all of us as people to be successful in preserving what we can of the world from this devastation. As they say in the article, "Where there is industrial mining, the rivers die and we lose our way of life. They want us to give up our traditions, work in the mines, and let them pollute our land. But we will give our lives to defend the land, because the end is the same for us either way.”

I think it's also important to take into consideration the precarious position of all that expensive, precision, built-to-order mining equipment. [long pause] Modern mining equipment may have safeguards in place to prevent and identify potentially catastrophic problems. Proper filtration is important and monitoring equipment may be installed to ensure it is operational. However, the sensors that perform these tasks (when they do exist) may fail or be otherwise confused and give inaccurate readings falsely indicating a safe operating status.

"Contamination is another common hydraulic system problem that can reduce the life of all hydraulic components. Typical types of contamination are air, solid particulates and water. […] Because your reservoir level rises and falls with system demand, it must be able to 'breathe.' This breathing of the reservoir will pull any available dust and dirt into the reservoir and mix it with the hydraulic fluid that's there. A breather filter is usually provided as a breather/filler, or as part of a separate breather. In either case, the breather must be kept clean and the filler cap must be kept on the reservoir. External dust and dirt can also be introduced to a hydraulic system through component seals. […] Other places that contaminants can enter a hydraulic system are loose hydraulic lines. When it becomes necessary to remove a hydraulic component for servicing, be sure to take the precaution of capping off hoses, fittings and manifolds so nothing can enter the system.

Also remember that particles as small as 10 microns (a grain of salt is 100 microns) can cause severe damage to a hydraulic system. Filters can be located on pressure lines, return lines and suction lines. Many times, if a system has a suction filter, there is no visible gauge to let the operator know when to change this filter.

The last major source of contamination is water. Water in hydraulic fluid can attack certain seal materials, cause corrosion of metal surfaces, decrease lubricity in the fluid and decrease bearing life. For example, as little as .02% water mixed in with the hydraulic oil will reduce bearing life by 50%. […] Water can enter the hydraulic system through worn pump, motor, and cylinder seals, as well as from condensation and through the reservoir breather."

-Keep Your Hydraulic System Running
posted by nTeleKy at 11:38 AM on February 14, 2013

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