Development Disruptions: Morano Santiago



Development Disruptions: the prevention of oil extraction in Morona Santiago and the transportation of environmental networks.

Oil extraction – indigenous organizations – epistemes of Nature – conservationism – inventive alliances.

I am proposing a project that would take into account the different interests involved in how oil extraction contracts are developed, particularly focusing on selected Shuar communities the Ecuadorian Amazon.  From the 1980s and 1990s, indigenous Ecuadorians have been politically organized in opposition to oil activities, and though this has been expressed in appeals to arbitration courts, physical violence, and mass protests, the categorical position for the Shuar is to advocate a moratorium on such development. This twenty-year period is seen as formative for the subsequent level of ‘civil society’ mobilization achieved by the Ecuadorian indigenous movement (M.S. Steyn, 2003). In 1996, a peace settlement was signed with Peru that concluded their border conflict, and the election of President Bucaram, both opened a window for multinational oil companies to invest in new areas of the country, particularly the south-eastern province of Morona Santiaga. In 1998, the US oil company Arco was given a Participation Contract by the Ecuadorian government for oil extraction in a 200,000 hectare area called Block 24. The Shuar population were not notified or consulted prior to the sale though a majority of the land belonged to Federación Independiente del Pueblo Shuar del Ecuador (FIPSE). Continue reading