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Why Ecuador's president is misleading the world on Yasuni-ITT

Rafael Correa has moved to abolish an historic Amazon oil plan, but don't be fooled by what his claims

Source:  Copyright 2013, Guardian
Date:  October 15, 2013
Byline:  David Hill
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The decision by Ecuador's president Rafael Correa to abandon a plan to permanently forgo exploiting hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in return for at least US$3.6bn in compensation – the "Yasuni-ITT Initiative" – has sparked severe non-state media criticism in Ecuador, calls for a referendum, protests in numerous cities and embassies around the world, and an international outcry.

Here are just four ways in which Correa's attempt to explain his decision are misleading:

1. In the TV speech on 15 August when he announced his decision Correa said that the oil exploitation he is now promoting will affect less than 1% of the Yasuni national park, a 1,030,070 hectare area, according to him, in Ecuador's Amazon.

'The choice was: Yasuni 100% intact and have no money to fight poverty or 99% of Yasuni intact – at least 99% – and have about US$18 billion,' he said, emphasizing that the decree liquidating the Yasuni-ITT Initiative prohibits more than ...

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