Pablo Fajardo & Luis Yanza - Speeches at the 2008 Goldman Prize Ceremony

Pablo Fajardo & Luis Yanza
April 14, 2008
Good evening to all of you.
More than twenty years ago I began my training and struggle in
defense of the rights to life, a clean environment and justice.
Clearly I have never acted alone, always allied with thousands of
people, mostly from my country Ecuador and from the United States.
We understand that working for the good of the planet is everyone’s
job, no matter where we find ourselves or what country we are from.
This is what we have tried to do in Ecuador, facing the environmental
and human crime committed by Chevron against our indigenous
peoples, campesinos and biodiversity.
As a consequence of the toxic waste that Chevron dumped in the
environment, today hundreds of our brothers and sisters have died
from cancer and thousands of children have seen their family
members die.
For this we are demanding legally that Chevron repair the damage
they caused so that our peoples can live with dignity.
More than 30,000 indigenous and campesinos have been struggling
for 15 years and we will not rest until we get justice.
We invite the entire world to join us in defense of life, justice and land.
Mr. Goldman and your family, and all of San Francisco - thank you for
recognizing the struggle of the Ecuadorian people.
You should all know that this award will be used to strengthen our
social and indigenous organization and to continue our work for the
good of humanity.
I receive this award with simplicity and humility, and I do so on behalf
of the thousands of affected Ecuadorians, simple and humble
indigenous and campesino citizens who for more than a decade have
been fighting to bring justice to the flagrant violation of human rights
committed by an oil corporation called Texaco, today known as
Undoubtedly, this recognition encourages us to continue fighting for
justice and life. It is an Ecuadorian struggle for the dignity of human
beings and to save our planet, because to defend the Amazon is to
defend the world.
And each of you can do a lot to change this world, but we must begin
by changing ourselves first, leaving behind selfishness, personal
ambitions and by sacrificing our comforts. But we have to do it now.
Tomorrow could be too late. I invite all of you to begin this change.
I am grateful to Mr. Goldman for this recognition, and to the
international community and especially to this city for supporting our
struggle. If we all unite, very soon we will win against Chevron and
Ecuador’s triumph will be the triumph of everyone.
Thanks to all of you for being with us on this night that is so important
to our struggle and our lives


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