Monday, November 26, 2007

On casualties of the militarized race for oil

At first, I read Swedish Construction as Sexism in Ecuador as "just" another sad story about prostitution. But within it is the story about casualties of the militarized race for our remaining non-renewable energy resources; in this case Ecuadorean women and girls.

Skanska, with the operational responsibility of 5,000 oil wells in Latin America, is raping the earth as well as the women of the region. [...] Oil companies like Texaco and Shell arrived in the Amazon region of Ecuador in the 1950s, and with the help of the military they stole indigenous lands. The region is now constantly militarized and the military has repeatedly been deployed against the local population during demonstrations. [...] The role of the military in the oil state of Ecuador is clear – it is under direct order of the oil companies. The local population is forced to pass the oil companies’ military check points in their own villages, and outsiders must seek permission from the companies to visit the areas, and must state their relation to the company while travelling. [...] Prostitution is further institutionalized in the Ecuadorian military since all military personnel receive a ticket to buy sex from one of the military’s own sex workers. The women mainly come from the coast to live on the military base while they work there. Each month, an obligatory five dollars is deducted for prostitution from each military’s $100 salary. The militarization of indigenous territory has also led to the military raping local women.

Absolutely insane. Prostitution is one of barbarianism's fingerprints, and the oil industry is increasingly looking like a war party.

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