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Ecuador: UN experts condemn moves by government to close NGO Accion Ecologica that campaigns against mining

Although the Govt. of Ecuador issued a statement condemning the letter sent by five UN experts on the situation of HRDs and in particular, the administrative situation of Accion Ecologica, the situation has not been overcome.

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4 January 2017

“UN experts condemn string of Ecuador clampdowns on human rights organizations”

Author: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

30 December 2016

On 18 December, ‘Acción Ecológica’ called for a Peace and Truth Commission to explore the attacks on indigenous and environmental rights. Two days later, the Ministry of the Environment initiated the dissolution process, giving the group 24 hours to respond and ten days to present defence evidence…The move against ‘Acción Ecológica’ comes amidst a conflict involving indigenous Shuar people who are trying to halt mining on what they claim to be their territory. The campaign group, which has vocally supported the indigenous protesters, is the latest in a series of organizations to be targeted by the government…The group of independent human rights experts urged the Ecuadorian authorities to reverse the decision and reform the legislation it is using to dissolve the groups…The experts warned that “the direct consequences are the progressive silencing of any group that challenges or offers alternative ideas to those of the government and thereby reducing visibility of the situation of vulnerable and marginalized people.”…“It is ironic”, they added, “that the same Government of Ecuador leading the positive international effort to make companies accountable through a binding treaty, is itself reducing the space to be held accountable by domestic groups.”

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22 December 2016

“Accion Ecologica rejects dissolution”

Author: Ecuador Times. net

22 Dec 2016

The NGO Acción Ecológica yesterday demanded the government to “prove” the statements of the Interior Ministry, which assured that they allegedly committed “violent acts” after “alerting” about the environmental impacts of mining projects located in the Condor mountain range, in the Amazon…Last Tuesday, the Ministry of the Environment, at the request of the Ministry of the Interior, began the process of dissolution of the organization because they would have committed “violent acts;” They “deviated from the ends for which it was created;” And for “interference in public policies against the internal security of the State and an attack on public peace.”

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21 December 2016

“The Ministry of Environment warns Accion Ecologica the beginning of its dissolution”

Author: Ecuador Times. net

The afternoon of December 20, the Ministry of Environment approached the facilities of Accion Ecologica and notified that the organization had 24 hours to respond and a ten days term to provide relevant evidence. The other part would be the Chinese mining company EXSA, according to the organization in social networks…Accion Ecologica was established 30 years ago, in 1986…In this context, it supports “campaigns that promote the departure of extractive models, such as the exploitation of oil and mining.”…In this context, the organization has conducted psychosocial studies since months ago -as an ecological corporation- of the mining impact on the populations of the province of Morona Santiago. The Chinese company that the afternoon of Wednesday, December 14 suffered an alleged attack by a Shuar group that opposes its activity operates there. The balance of that day was one dead and seven injured…According to the complaint made on Twitter, EXSA would have demanded the dissolution of the organization to the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, since it “diverts from the purposes for which it was constituted.” In the letter addressed to this State body, it is said that Accion Ecologica “has expressed its support for the actions and violent acts carried out by the Shuar community through publications in social networks…”

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