Oriente (Ecuador)

views updated

Oriente (Ecuador)

Oriente (Ecuador), the eastern slopes of the Andes and the tropical rainforest lowlands of Amazonia, covering some 56,000 square miles, and including the provinces of Napo, Pastaza, Morona-Santiago, and Zamora-Chinchipe. The most thinly populated zone in Ecuador (about 3 percent of the total), the region is home to several independent Indian groups (the Shuar, Cofan, Waorani, and lowland Quechua), hunter-gatherers who have never been effectively subjugated by Europeans. Despite the region's remoteness and lack of European settlement, Ecuador and Peru have repeatedly fought over ownership of it. In 1967 a significant oil strike in northern Oriente brought dramatic changes. Settlers from the crowded sierra followed the highways cut into the oil-producing zones. Oriente oil is now Ecuador's leading export.

See alsoEcuador-Peru Boundary Disputes .


On the history of Oriente oil, see John D. Martz, Politics and Petroleum in Ecuador (1987). On boundary disputes in the Oriente, see David Hartzler Zook, Jr., Zarumilla-Marañón: The Ecuador-Peru Dispute (1964).

Additional Bibliography

Tapia, Luis. Territorio, territorialidad, y construcción regional amazónica. Quito: Abya-Yala, 2004.

Trujillo Moncalvo, Patricio. Salvajes, civilizados y civilizadores: La Amazonia ecuatoriana: El espacio de las ilusiones. Quito, Ecuador: Fundación de Investigaciones Andino-Amazónicas: Ediciones Abya-Yala, 2001.

                                             Ronn F. Pineo