Oro Verde



testimonies and stories

Mauro Romero Carranza, Ecuador


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Mauro Romero is an ex-banana worker from Balzar, in south-west Ecuador. He used to work on the Noboa-owned banana plantation Los Alamos. In 2002 he joined the union and participated in a strike where workers were asking for better pay and conditions. The company owner, lvaro Noboa, Ecuador's richest man and then leading presidential candidate, brought in masked armed men to evict the workers. Mauro was shot at close range in the leg and the armed men stole his watch and his money. Fellow workers raised the alarm and Mauro was taken to hospital where he subsequently had his leg removed. He was 33 at the time, a widower and father to his young son, Fabin. I visited Mauro a couple of times in hospital but didn't see him again until May 2003. He is now back in Balzar and is selling lottery tickets for a living.

Photo: Jan Nimmo

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Mauro Romero Carranza: woodcut by Jan Nimmo Mauro Romero in Hospital: Photo - Jan Nimmo