"The proposed expansion of petroleum operations on Amazon rainforest territory belonging to the A'i Cofan people has divided Indigenous locals."
"Eduardo Mendúa, an Indigenous activist who was fighting to protect Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest from oil extraction, has been killed by gunmen, the Indigenous organization CONAIE reports.
Mendúa, the director of international relations for CONAIE, or the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, and a member of the A’i Cofan people, was part of a group of about 130 campaigners who have been blocking the state-owned oil company, Petroecuador, from expanding oil operations east of the oil town of Lago Agrio in the northeastern province of Sucumbíos.
Petroecuador had been planning to build 30 new wells in a government-approved oil concession block that overlaps with A’i Cofan land.
Mendúa, 40, was shot 12 times on Sunday in his garden by two armed men, both hooded, at his home in the A’i Cofan town of Dureno, CONAIE said in a statement. The group said the killing was related to the oil conflict that has unfolded in the area over the last year."