Forged documents, cloned trucks, and bribes are some of the methods used by the illegal loggers in Ecuador’s Morona Santiago province to extract timber from the rainforest which the Shuar nation struggle to protect. Government mining concessions to their land have led to evictions and leaders being sued for protesting.
When the Ecuadorean government opened the Via Auca, a new highway leading to oilfields deep in the rainforest, hordes of would be colonists poured along it looking for El Dorado. Most failed, but the Huaorani people have managed to defend their territory against invaders.
Esmeraldas was once known as Equador's greenest province. Now indigenous and afrodescendent communities struggle to survive as loggers and palm oil producers invade the rainforest around them.