In 2013, an OCP (Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados or heavy crude oil) pipeline near the Esmeralda refinery burst and contaminated the Esmeralda river. OCP filed a request for precautionary measures against a resident named Carlos Alberto Hanze Moreno who they claimed was not allowing them to proceed with doing restoration work on the Esmeralda River by preventing access to the Winchele stream and its banks. Defendant Carlos Alberto Hanze Moreno said that OCP presented the action on false merits to avoid compensation to individuals who demand they be repaired for damage to their plantations. OCP claimed it was trying to carry out nature’s right to restoration outlined in the Constitution. The court ruled that the resident must provide OCP access to the estuary and that OCP will ensure that the resident’s property will not be affected.
This and other crude oil spills deeply affect the indigenous Kichwa communities, prompting the Sarayacu Kichwa indigenous community to take actions protesting the devastating impacts of these oil companies on the forest and their homes.