The rights of nature identify all the ecosystems on earth and the earth as a whole as a living being with unchangeable rights to live, exist without cruel treatment. This maintains a harmonious balance that supports all life. Such people as the Amazonians respect the rights of nature and protect their environment. Economic globalization as viewed by the neoliberals is to encourage foreign investments and intensify exploration. However, as in other areas of the economy, there are those organizations that maneuver through the government systems and end up causing more harm than good.
In its’ attempt to implement neoliberal policy, the government of Ecuador encourages foreign investment. The ARCO’s oil company acquired a license to explore oil in the Pastaza. Commonly known as Block 10, the company drilled wells to ascertain the availability of wells in the block. However, the neighboring villages and indigenous people do not respect the fact that ARCO oil entered in their community for economic reason thereby forgetting the social and nature consequences that resulted from their operations (Sawyer 3). The government on its part cares more about economic development and globalization and dictates the exploration of oils in the rainforest disregarding the views of the communities.
ARCO oil has presented itself as a separate entity thus disentangling itself from the social and environmental disruption it has caused in the region. ARCO Oil is using the divide and conquer scenario to expand its operation in the region. First, the company support DICIP, an organization that represents only 100 people. DICIP as argued by ARCO Oil owned the title deeds and approached the company to conduct the exploration in their fields. In its efforts to distance the effects of the exploration, ARCO Oil argues that since DICIP owns the title deeds, it has no authority or ability to control who has a title deed and how those who own title deeds handle their affairs. ARCO oil leans on the principles of democracy that encourage different opinions, and people make their decisions.
The cause of disagreement here is the neoliberal government policies which tend to ignore the reality of the situation. Economic neoliberals encourage the maximization of individual’s economic freedom by reducing regulations or restrictions by the government. It advocates the total elimination of government restrictions on the movement of capital, goods, and services through the borders to other nations (Gallegos, 144). However, the policies disregard the elimination and abrasion of history, and the well-being of the people provided it benefit from the free economy. By use of pretended democracy and the rights of all, ARCO Oil erased the history of the region.
First, the company invoked equal voice and democracy by authorizing one group to act as the representative of the Indian body and dismissed the claims of other bodies. ARCO selected DICIP to be the sole representative of the Community in its dealings. It is good to note that DICIP only represents 100 people as opposed to OPIP, which represents 15,000 people (Sawyer 8). The fact that ARCO selected DICIP to be the voice of the Indian community is a total disregard of democracy it so pretends to follow and adhere to. The fact is that the 100 people represented by DICIP are among the poor materially and politically marginalized group in Pastaza. This allows them to be swayed by material goods. The decision of the DICIP organization to sell their fields to ARCO for exploration was not due to their personal decisions rather they were about promises made by ARCO of a better future. ARCO applied the reason that would create democracy and progress in the isolated lands.
The Amazonian people are united and respect the rights of nature. ARCO only engaged DICIP in its dealings, but the effects of the exploration are felt by the whole community. ARCO oil cannot run away for these effects in the pretense that they bought the lands from those who own the title deeds. ARCO refused to recognize the voice of the OPIP leaders who represent a long-standing Indian community (Sawyer 10). It is ironic that ARCO championed the rights of the 100 but undermined the legitimacy of OPIP. This does not serve to promote democracy rather it undermines it. From the moment ARCO gained rights for the oil exploration, it bestowed gifts on the isolated community as compensation for letting the company undertake its activities. ARCO purports to be civilizing the hearts of the indigenous people with the principles of democracy, but actually, the company is manipulating the poor communities and exploiting their resources while disregarding the negative effects of such activities.
ARCO should not purport to promote democracy while manipulating the Indian community by use of material things. The effects of the exploration affect all the whole community and disregarding the views of the OPIP undermines democracy. The lack of government regulations protecting the interest of the indigenous communities should not be a tool used by international organizations in undermining the local people.