Ecuador's indians seeking share in oil revenues

Nov 23, 1999 01:00 AM

Riding horses and on foot, about 1,000 jungle Indians and peasant farmers arrived in the capital city to demand a share in Ecuador's growing oil profits. "We come in a symbolic invasion of Quito to ask the government and Congress to give $ 2 for every barrel of oil produced in our territory," said Indian leader Gonzalo Malveca.
Indian communities of Ecuador's south-eastern jungle, where most oil is produced, are among the poorest people in the country and do not receive money from oil. The protesters, many in traditional clothing, arrived in a long column, chanting in their native languages.
The march was peaceful and no arrests or injuries were reported. A delegation of 25 march leaders were invited into a special session of Congress, where their demands were heard. Ecuador, struggling through its worst fiscal crisis in decades, has experienced a recent jump in oil profits with the rebound in world crude prices to $ 21 a barrel.
Crude oil exports, the country's chief money maker, totalled about $ 790 mm in 1999 between January and September. The country produces 360,000 bpd of oil, 320,000 of which are for export.

Source: AP
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