Ecuadoran Government Shuts Down Fundacion Pachamama
On Wednesday, December 4, the Ecuadoran government shut down the Fundación Pachamama, where my brother Oliver works, in retaliation for its advocacy of indigenous human rights and the rights of nature. In particular, the government is frustrated by Pachamama’s opposition to expanded oil drilling in the Amazon, which has caused the failure of the government’s latest round of auctions for Amazon oil leases.
Fundacion Pachamama president Belen Paez released this statement today:
“We regret to inform you that today, Wednesday December 4, 2013, officials from the Police Administration of Pinchincha came to the offices of Fundación Pachamama in the city of Quito and proceeded to close the offices and left us a resolution from the Ministry of Environment stating that our organization is dissolved.
“This closure is an arbitrary act that seeks to suppress our legitimate right to dissent from the decision of the National Government to concede areas of Amazonian indigenous nations to oil companies, without respecting their constitutional rights and to free, prior and informed consultation, according to the standards of the International Law of Human Rights.”
– Read the full statement
My brother and his colleagues are okay for now. But the situation is tense. The best sources of information are the Pachamama Alliance (US-based sister org to the embattled Ecuadoran group) and AmazonWatch. I’ll be posting updates to Twitter and Facebook. If there’s something worth a longer post, I’ll put it here.
Meanwhile, please spread the word.