Reply to article: “Human Rights groups feel chill as country after country clamps down on their work” (27th August 2015).
15 de Septiembre de 2015 - 11h35
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The article “Human Rights groups feel chill as country after country clamps down on their work”, on the section “Shady Practices Employed to target Foreign Agents”, makes reference to Ecuador, using the case of the closing down of the Pachamama foundation as an example of an alleged “assault on NGOs” in the country.
The Pachamama foundation closing down was a result of a legal procedure launched by the authorities when the organization organized and executed a violent assault on a delegation of foreign investors and diplomats accredited in Ecuador, including the Ambassador of Chile; they were physically attacked by members of Pachamama. The incident was public and extensively covered by all media. An investigation ensued, where the organization was afforded every right to defend itself, and indeed made use of the due process afforded it by law. The authorities concluded that the organization had deviated from its founding purpose and objective and was instead engaging in party politics which seriously affected public safety.
The article cites the impounding of a bus belonging to Climatic Convoy by the police as another example of the alleged harassment of NGOs; it does not mention that all buses need to comply with basic driving regulation conditions, such as that a driver must have the correct type of driver´s license for the vehicle and, in the case of foreign vehicles, the appropriate documentation. The bus in question lacked both of these and the police, as would be the case anywhere else in the world, had to enforce the law.
There are more than 46,000 social organizations registered and operating in Ecuador under new legislation, engaged in all sorts of activities, many of them which scrutinize the Government, and many of which are in plain opposition to it; many others have foreign financing. Not one however has been closed down or harassed for political reasons, as the article suggests. Sadly, for some of them, the requirement to comply with legislation seems to be a good opportunity for victimization.
Chargé d´affairs a.i.
Embassy of Ecuador in the UK
To view Letter to The Guardian 3 Sept
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