Pablo Iturralde and activist research


Pablo Iturralde is an economist and anthropologist. He is a researcher and general coordinator of the Centro de Derechos Economicos y Sociales (CDES – Center for Economic and Social Rights), an organization that promotes economic and social rights in order to generate discussion and the implementation of an economic, social model and alternative politics in Ecuador. He describes his work as activist research and works mainly with social organizations engaged with the indigenous world and the trade union world.

What is the objective of the CDES?

The main challenges in Latin America are, according to Pablo Iturralde, the fight against social inequalities and the fight for a better environment. Indeed, according to him, the environment and poverty are strongly linked and the two fights go hand in hand.

What project has had the greatest impact on you?

Extending over more than 10,000 km² in eastern Ecuador, Yasuni Park forms a unique ecosystem where thousands of animal and plant species concentrate and which is home to the largest oil block in Ecuador. Launched in 2007 by the Correa government, the Yasuni-ITT Initiative proposed non-exploitation of the park in exchange for financial compensation from the international community to the tune of $3.6 billion (a little less half the value of oil reserves). But in 2013, faced with the failure of its proposal, the Ecuadorian government decided to put an end to the initiative. Exploitation began in 2016, to the great regret of environmental defenders, indigenous organizations and a large part of the population. Since then, the quantities of oil extracted have only increased. Petroamazonas, the national company responsible for exploitation, announced at the end of 2018 that it wanted to increase production of 14% barrels of oil in 2019. Indigenous communities, however, continue to fight to assert their right to prior consultation and their right to self-determination while environmental organizations and ecological experts work to warn against the dangers of oil exploitation in this precious area of the Amazon.

What world do you want to live in?

What would be your advice to a citizen who would like to take action?


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