"indigenous"people beloved by rich US activists, zero.
The oil blocks overlap with the traditional home of the Sápara, an indigenous group with only 300 members,
About a year ago I posted about oil exploration by multinational firms and noted that I backed the president of Ecuador in this.
The president has to think of everyone.
As for that headline about the "pristine rain forest": Guess they didn't know that the Amazon supported millions before the great dying off thanks to imported European disease (accidental, not deliberate). So it's actually not "pristine" but new growth of forest.
But now the Chinese got the lease.
Thanks, green activists.
and yes, I know: there was probably money that changed hands under the table here, and the Chinese are good at this.
I am ambivalent, because this is not a "good guy bad guy" story.
Keep industry out, and poverty kills a lot more people than pollution. and one wonders why outsiders are there protesting with oodles of money that could better be used building schools and clinics. But don't mind me: when I see articles extolling primitive lifestyles, I see poverty, disease, and babies dying from dirty water and poor nutrition.
So who counted votes to see the locals "opposed" the companies? Many cultures have only men in charge (or post menopausal ladies) who have a stake in the old order, where they rule. And of course, many will "obey" outsiders who "educate" them, be it Christian missionaries, Doctors pressureing them to get their immunizations, local communist activists recruiting them to fight for justice, or environmental activists who speak in their name and include a couple of semi naked specimens in their protests to prove they are "genuine".
I remember when a couple of "Native American" activists went to Colombia to help with similar protests and got shot. Big kerfuffle ensued until they found the killing wasn't by the oil companies but by the local FARC types.
the "community opposition" mentioned at the end of the article was not local (I mean, they desperately need jobs) but astroturfed and pressure applied to the companies from activists in the US/EU.
China is less likely to bend to such nonsense. I mean, yes they are the most polluted country in the world, but hey, at least they aren't losing millions to starvation every year as they did in the past.
Which is why I support oil drilling etc. It is the lesser of two evils.
Once the oil drilling and modernization makes people rich, they will start their own protests (such as those going on right now in China) and hopefully clean up Bejing's air like the activists did in the US by passing the clean air act.
But you have to be rich to do this. Poor people may join your protest (here in the Philippines, the going rate is ten dollars a day for protesters), but they still will work in polluted areas because hey, you have to eat (and drink some Sam Mig and have a fiesta once in awhile).
and yes, I know: Pollution.
But the dirty little secret is that often keeping out big companies only leads to "mom and pop" companies doing the same thing, be it oil drilling, illegal mining, or cutting down trees.
Locals work for them because they need jobs, local officials take bribes to look the other way, and since they are small they work "under the radar" of the aggressive activists, and because they are "fly by night" companies who get the loot and leave, and have no local ties, these companies often the damage to the environment is worse than larger companies who are under pressure by environmental activists to keep the jobsite clean.
So, thanks to the "opposition" by "locals", the Chinese will take it over. They have no problem with bribery, environmental pollution, and are not easily cowed by green activists.
Best of all worlds (/s) (Sarcasm off).
and a similar infusion of Chinese money and industry is changing Africa, but that's another story you probably haven't read about.