My name is Lorenzo Morales. I am a governor of indigenous reservation Ukumary Khanke, the ancestral territory of Taita Querubin Queta Alvarado. My job and mission as a political authority has always been governing, taking care of our territories and people, and ensuring that all the internal rules are observed.
It is obvious that our people have many concerns, among which the greatest is when the multinational companies enter our territories to exploit them, to take our resources careless of the impact there are making, the destruction of nature, careless of the contamination of water, air and soil.
Therefore today, through this medium we express the concerns of indigenous peoples, millenary tribes that inhabit this planet.
Nowadays we are at risk of being displaced. If we let the multinational companies enter our territories our life will come to an end, because our land is our life. Our land is the base, the origin of our people. In fact the indigenous people cannot be indigenous without their land… and in my case… as a governor I strongly oppose the activities of the oil companies on our territories, although there are still legal means of entering our territories by means of force, such as the directive nr. 10. It is enforced when the indigenous peoples do not give their consent.
I am asking the government today what they mean by the defence of the indigenous peoples that they mention in the plan of development, if on one hand they impose the laws in favour of indigenous communities and on the other hand they enforce laws and force against them.
The multinational companies are not the only threat. We also lose our land due to public force – forced displacement. The 2012 and subsequent years have seen the growth of illegal cultivations that cause violence in our lands. Nowadays there are far less cultivations of this type, but they still exist and still pose a threat to our communities.
Our elders, our children, our community, our people are very concerned about the land we are protecting. There are other entities that come to violate our rights that apply rules against us. There are no more fish and animals we used to hunt, because the white man has entered our territories to kill them off and to build mines. Our reserve has 20.400 hectares. We propose to increase it up to 59.000 hectares. Even now our reserve is still trespassed. It is a home to 400 class of medicinal plants and over 800 species of animals, birds, different types of insects, snakes, jaguars, bears… but they are becoming extinct. That’s why we ask what will be the tomorrow for our children, if even today there is scarcity, if even today there is no abundance of our natural resources.
As the Cofan People we stand out as a yage culture. We are yageceros. We consume yage to embrace life, to learn from our nature, to know what is what we have, to know what we feel for our Mother Nature…. But when we take the medicine we notice there is no longer the same strength in the nature that there was before according to the elders. Nowadays the nature is completely altered because the spirits of the jungle are no longer around us, they are hidden, scared of the noise and appalled that the Mother Nature is trampled/ treated so badly by some people…
With this in mind we are also planning an event called a Prayer For Mother Earth. We have a tentative date, but we still need to make it official. We still need a lot of things, many resources to do it. The goal is to organise a series of ceremonies in our reserve with men of knowledge, shamans who know the ancestral medicine of different tribes, peoples and countries: yageceros, Peyote tradition, Tabaco tradition, Mambe tradition… with their different culture, yet the same feelings and concerns about Mother Earth, to show the rest of the world the indigenous people’s concern for the Mother Earth.
We will give more information and necessary contact details later on.
In the background we can hear the music of our culture we use to show our appreciation for our lives. We sing for our Mother Nature in our language. God gives nature to the human being so that we can discover the mysteries of the jungle and be able to cure many people of different illnesses using yage plant.
Yage plant is very sacred and delicate. Nowadays many white men in other countries publish articles and books, are becoming chamans and establishing Ayahuasca schools. Because as they do not know how to use properly the spirit of yage, they shouldn’t do it. There are serious consequences of the lack of knowledge, not being a member of indigenous community and taking what belongs to our people. Many elders are very worried. We would like to ask these people to come here, to our land to talk about it.
The Cofan tribe, led by Taita Querubin Alvarado didn’t give any permission to no one.
Special greetings for the ones that are going to receive this message from indigenous people from Ukumari Khanke, which means the land of the bear.
Many blessings and a lot of health!