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South America




Faces of Change: Adolfina García

Adolfina García is an Achuar Madre Indígena (female indigenous leader) from the Corrientes Region of northern Peru.

For 30 years Adolfina and her family suffered the consequences of contamination caused by the oil companies operating in the region. First the plants and animals became sick and died, later, even children lost their lives. Adolfina lost her 11-year-old son, Olivio Salas. She believes he died because of the contaminated water.

Adolfina and the leaders of five Achuar communities decided to file a law suit against LA-based Occidental Petroleum and hold them accountable for the widespread destruction of their livelihoods. They sued the company in their own home in California. After an 6-year legal battle, the two parties settled.

Oil companies continue to operate in her community and all around the Amazon. They continue contaminating. Adolfina and her community are still fighting to protect their land, rivers, and people from the contamination.