URGENT: Legal support needed forcriminalized indigenous peoples in Ecuadorian protests

Musicians and artists from different parts of the world create the song “Semillita” in solidarity and defense of life, as a response to the military and police violence towards the people, during the protests in Ecuador in October 2019.

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In October 2019, over 20,000 indigenous people from the Amazon to the Andes mobilized to Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, as part of nationwide protests aimed at reversing a series of government imposed economic austerity measures that, indigenous leaders said, would deepen social inequalities, fuel environmental degradation, and lock Ecuador in a short-sighted economic system premised on the unsustainable extraction of natural resources.

In response to nationwide protests, the Ecuadorian government declared a State of Emergency, which facilitated military and police violence, arbitrary detentions, and limited freedom of association and mobility, among other civil rights. Hundreds of indigenous people were jailed, and human rights groups, including Amazon Frontlines, issued reports citing widespread human rights violations.

Finally, on the 11th day of the nationwide mobilizations, Ecuador’s indigenous movement forced their government to pay heed to their initial demands. However, indigenous people must now prepare for a long road ahead to hold the government accountable for widespread human rights violations during the protests and for the nullification of the complete economic measures and extractive policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Ecuador.

Indigenous and human rights organizations on the ground in Ecuador need urgent legal aid. Amazon Frontlines, Land Is Life, and Amazon Watch will channel the funds from this campaign to the
Ecumenical Commission on Human Rights (CEDHU), an Ecuadorian non-profit with 40 years of experience working towards social justice and human rights. 100% of funds will be used exclusively for:

  • Legal aid to defend indigenous people arbitrarily detained or charged with a crime during the mobilizations.

For more context, in a statement the national and Amazonian indigenous federations explained their reasons for protesting and demands to the government:

Our movement aims to reverse the Ecuadorian government’s closed-door agreement with the International Monetary Fund and protect our territories from the social, economic and environmental fallout of the accelerated extractive agenda that will follow. This is not simply about gasoline subsidies […] Once again, we are putting our bodies and our lives on the line to protect our families, rights, cultures and territories, this time from the central government’s neoliberal assault.

Photo by Ivan Castanei

URGENT: Legal support needed for criminalized indigenous peoples in Ecuadorian protests

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In October 2019, over 20,000 indigenous people from the Amazon to the Andes mobilized to Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, as part of nationwide protests aimed at reversing a series of government imposed economic austerity measures that, indigenous leaders said, would deepen social inequalities, fuel environmental degradation, and lock Ecuador in a short-sighted economic system premised on the unsustainable extraction of natural resources.

In response to nationwide protests, the Ecuadorian government declared a State of Emergency, which facilitated military and police violence, arbitrary detentions, and limited freedom of association and mobility, among other civil rights. Hundreds of indigenous people were jailed, and human rights groups, including Amazon Frontlines, issued reports citing widespread human rights violations.

Finally, on the 11th day of the nationwide mobilizations, Ecuador’s indigenous movement forced their government to pay heed to their initial demands. However, indigenous people must now prepare for a long road ahead to hold the government accountable for widespread human rights violations during the protests and for the nullification of the complete economic measures and extractive policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Ecuador.

Indigenous and human rights organizations on the ground in Ecuador need urgent humanitarian and legal aid. Amazon Frontlines, Land Is Life, and Amazon Watch will channel the funds from this campaign to the
Ecumenical Commission on Human Rights (CEDHU), an Ecuadorian non-profit with 40 years of experience working towards social justice and human rights. 100% of funds will be used exclusively for:

– Legal aid to defend indigenous people arbitrarily detained or charged with a crime during the mobilizations.

For more context, in a recent statement the national and Amazonian indigenous federations explained their reasons for protesting and demands to the government:

Our movement aims to reverse the Ecuadorian government’s closed-door agreement with the International Monetary Fund and protect our territories from the social, economic and environmental fallout of the accelerated extractive agenda that will follow. This is not simply about gasoline subsidies […] Once again, we are putting our bodies and our lives on the line to protect our families, rights, cultures and territories, this time from the central government’s neoliberal assault.

Share the Movement!

Photo by Ivan Castaneira