Petroleum extraction by oil companies has caused extensive damage to the Ecuadorian Amazon and as a result local indigenous populations have suffered the most. Oil rights have changed control often in Ecuador, but policy makers have yet to address the environmental and social impacts caused by the oil extraction.
In the face of further threats of environmental destruction at the hands of oil companies, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE) occupied the ministry of Energy and Mines until Minister Francisco Acosta agreed to meet with them. The groups insisted that indigenous people be included in the decisions about what would be done with their lands taking into consideration indigenous needs as well as environmentalist concerns.
If indigenous peoples and others harmed by irresponsibly discarded hazardous waste from Texaco can prove the decisions regarding that discarding were made in their New York headquarters, the case will be heard by the US federal court in New York. The Organization of Indigenous People of Pastaza negotiates with ARCO over oil exploration plans.
The trans-Amazon pipeline carrying Occidental and Petroperu crude oil burst spilling between 10,000 and 30,000 barrels of oil a day into the Marañon river, the main water source for many indigenous communities in the area. The Peruvian government has signed more natural gas explorations contracts for other areas in the Amazon. The Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDEPSEP) raised concerns about the safety of such projects.
President Fujimori denies oil tycoon request for land.