By Lucia Hernandez, Campaigner in the Americas Program at Amnesty International.
No one thought it would happen, but it has.
After more than a decade of determined struggle for recognition of years of human rights abuses, members of the Indigenous People of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon, will receive an official apology by the Ecuadorian State.
The historic day is 1 October, when four Ministers (Justice, Environment, Defence and Non-Renewable Natural Resources) and the Attorney General will arrive at the Amazon region to apologize for the abuses that took place during the oil operations carried out by the company CGC in their territory from 2002 to 2003.
In those years, company staff, accompanied by soldiers and private security guards, carried out detonations, cut down trees, dug more than 400 wells, buried more than 1.4 tons of high grade explosives and polluted the environment with the noise of helicopters. The State had given the company the concession to exploit oil in their territory without consulting or informing the community beforehand.