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Ecuador's president may try to overrule national referendum that called for protecting Yasuní NP

In August 2023, millions of Ecuadorians made history. The country became the first to keep fossil fuels in the ground by popular vote, with an overwhelming 60% choosing to keep over 700 million barrels of crude permanently in the ground underneath Yasuní National Park. It was a major victory for Indigenous peoples, biodiversity, and the climate in a country that is the largest producer of Amazon crude and which has seen decades of contamination and rights abuses at the hands of the oil industry. 

But now, the government seeks to upend the will of voters and continue drilling in Yasuní under the pretense of funding the country’s escalating conflict with organized crime. 

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