UPDATE: Stand with the Shuar People and Acci Ecolica!
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Acción Ecológica is still under threat of closure!
Today, Acción Ecológica (AE) is asking YOU to stand with them.
Tag a picture of yourself on their Facebook page here with a sign that says #SOSAccionEcologica to show the Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa that the world is watching. The fight to resist the closure of AE is fundamentally a fight for human rights and Indigenous Peoples, and this is just one way that you can directly help AE and Indigenous Peoples and stand in solidarity.
The Ecuadorean government began procedures to shut down AE on December 19, right before the Christmas holiday, giving AE just ten days to defend themselves and present evidence against the government’s claim that the group was in violation of national law. The accusation was a clear retaliation against AE’s unflinching support to the Shuar Indigenous People, who are fighting for their homeland against a Chinese owned mega-copper mine.
Even United Nations human rights experts have condemned the Ecuadorean government for their assault and criminalization of civil society.
In a communique, UN human rights experts stated:
“The Government of Ecuador seems to be systematically dissolving organizations when they become too vocal or challenge government orthodoxy,” they said. “This strategy to asphyxiate civil society has been implemented via two decrees – 16 and 739 – which give the authorities powers to unilaterally dissolve any kind of organization.”
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.”
This is not the first time Correa has tried to shut down AE or other civil society groups for their environmental and human rights activism. In 2009, the government first tried to close AE, and in 2013, the government closed another organization, Pachamama, for their work to resist new oil concessions on indigenous lands. Ironically, AE is responsible for many of President Correa’s landmark environmental initiatives, such as the 2007 Yasuni-ITT initiative, “which sought to keep close to a billion barrels of crude in the ground underneath Yasuni National Park in exchange for financial contributions equaling half of the country’s forgone revenue”.
The Correa Administration may have thought that announcing their plans to close AE right before the Christmas holiday would dampen international support for AE and the Shuar people. Let’s prove them wrong.
Show your support for them by tagging yourself #SOSAccionEcologica here!