449 human rights defenders have been threatened and persecuted in Ecuador

In Ecuador, there are 449 human rights defenders threatened, harassed and systematically persecuted, and there are even 3 murders with impunity, according to an 80-page report.

The document was prepared by the Alliance of Organizations for Human Rights in Ecuador. This Tuesday, June 15, they presented the results, which identify patterns of violation of the rights of defenders. The documented conflicts are related to activities of exploitation of nature such as oil and mining, the misuse of the criminal justice system and the stigmatization of the State towards human rights defenders.

Among the alerts that most concern organizations is the participation or complicity of the State with companies that violate rights and most of the cases are in geographically distant areas and marginalized by the State.

“Our organization today faces a great persecution that does not end. This is dangerous not only because of the contamination generated by mining activities in our territory, but also because of the division of families produced by the companies, ”said Josefina Tunki, president of the Shuar Arutam People (PSHA).

The Shuar leaders are harassed, persecuted and threatened with death for protecting their ancestral territory from the mining concessions that the State handed over to transnational companies. This violates your right to free, prior and informed consultation and consent. Tunki received a death threat from the vice president of one of the mining companies.

The report also recommends that the State implement best practices to comply with the duties of respect and guarantee of rights. They call on the National Assembly and the Executive to evaluate policies and projects that have been denounced for being restrictive of rights.

Another of the cases included in the document is the murder of Andrés Durazno, defender of water and inhabitant of Molleturo. His daughter, Elizabeth Durazno, said that in his community “they have generated environmental damage and division of our communities. We decided to continue with the resistance and we will not allow anyone to violate our rights. We will continue to weave solidarity together with the Defenders of Human Rights and Nature from all over the world ”.

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