Conectas condemns arbitrary closure of NGO in Ecuador

Pachamama Foundation was shut down by the government without any legal process Pachamama Foundation was shut down by the government without any legal process

More than 40 Latin American organizations, among them Conectas, have signed a motion of rejection against the arbitrary closure of the Pachamama Foundation by the Ecuadorian government. The NGO, which is based in Quito, was shut down on December 4 without any formal charges or administrative proceeding being filed.

The intervention, ordered by the Ministry of Environment, was based on a controversial decree that has been constitutionally challenged on a number of occasions. The decree states that a civil society organization may be dissolved if it “strays from the aims and objectives for which it was incorporated” and becomes involved in “activities that are partisan (…) or that interfere with public policies, threatening the internal or external security of the State or affecting the public peace”.

According to the ministry, the Pachamama Foundation is accused of participating in acts of violence during a demonstration against the country’s 9th Round of Oil Licensing. The Foundation admits taking part in the protest, but categorically denies the use of violence – an accusation that it claims is retaliation for its position.

“The decision was made without any open administrative proceedings being filed against the organization, without notifying the organization of the accusations in advance and giving it the chance refute them, and without factually and materially backing up the allegations,” reads the document.

“We energetically request that the Ecuadorian State reconsider its decision and allow, as quickly as possible, the Pachamama Foundation to continue its work in defense of human rights and the environment.”

See here the full letter signed by the organizations.

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