THE RIO BLANCO COMMUNITY

Last several years, this area became a prime interest of gold mining and logging corporations, which has had a catastrophic impact on the nature and communities living there. Two years ago 3 gold companies tried to buy 60Ha of community land from Rio Blanco Community in Napo province where they are physically living.

45 °/o of people from the community agreed to sell.

Why do the indigenous even consider selling?

Next to the Napo river province lies province Orellana, where the Rio Blanco Community has another 1000Ha of protected land preserved for future generation. The reason the community wanted to sell this 60Ha to the gold company was to get money to pay for a legal help against violators who are unrightfully claiming Rio Blanco’s territory. These intruders are people from different indigenous communities but unfortunately, all attempts of Rio Blanco to get them out of the territory without using state authorities were unsuccessful. The community had to hire a lawyer for this court process and had to pay him USD 8000. Other means how they tried to get money was vast logging in order to raise money, which resulted in deforestation of about 50 ha of community land.

Zivot Postaru could not just watch the deforestation and decided to help and fundraise money from the Czech Republic.

Život Postaru made a contract with the Rio Blanco Community in which in exchange for the financial help of 25,100 USD, Rio Blanco community agreed to never allow access to its land to the mining, logging and other companies that attempt to contaminate or destroy nature in this area. Until now, the community is still in the legal trial with the invaders.

2018 – the courts concluded that the land belongs to Rio Blanco, but the invaders still refuse to leave so we have to go to another court to obtain official legal order for invaders to leave.

We are still collecting money to continue helping the community, the agreed amount is 25,100 USD, and until now we have helped with 11,000 USD.

We are really happy that we can protect this area in Rio Blanco Community.

Now the community does not allow any mining or logging company to enter their area.

But companies still try to find other ways to negotiate with communities.

2019
Agustin personally visited all families in efforts to have them sell to Zivot postaru instead of the miners. The families in the end agreed, but only if we match the price. That has risen to $10,000 USD for a hectar now. As we can’t see all our effort go down the drain, we are opening another fundraiser to purchase this land. It will serve as base for our Ancestral schooling project in the future.

Another problem comes after that…

Now the companies are trying to buy other private land, in front of the community.

This causes us a serious problem and also to all other communities which live near the Huambuno River because it is the only river that connects more than 7 community.

As Zivot Postaru, small non-profit organization, we cannot help more because we are not a big organization and we don‘t have a big budget and also have the contract with  Rio Blanco Community where we must provide 25,100 USD.

So, we are now looking for people who are interested to protect this area.

Coordinates for the land: 1 ° 00’11.8 „S 77 ° 34’38.1“ W -1.003293, -77.577250.

There are 16 ha to sell. Price offered by gold miners is 8,000 USD / Ha.

If you are interested to buy land, please contact Zivot Postaru to facilitate.

2018 

Owners decided to sell to the mining companies because they have been promised to get the land back after the mining. What they cannot see is that the land will be contaminated with heavy metals and chemicals used for mining, all living ecosystem destroyed and the impact on poisoned river will be beyond what is sustainable for people to survive without clean source of water. They are now waiting for the highest offer.