On Wednesday, December 4th, 2013, plain-clothes police officers appeared at the offices of Fundación Pachamama and proceeded to shut down the facilities, leaving a resolution from the Ministry of Environment ordering the dissolution of the organization.
The government's action comes on the heels of indigenous protests last week against Ecuador's plans to open some 2.6 million hectares of rainforest to new oil drilling. The oil auction only received three offers, and was widely deemed a failure. President Correa lashed out in a weekend television address, falsely accusing Fundación Pachamama of fomenting violence during a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Hydrocarbons, though no members of the organization were involved. Fundación Pachamama plans to appeal the government's decision before the Ministry of the Environment.
This dissolution is considered an arbitrary act that seeks to repress Fundación Pachamama’s legitimate right to disagree with the government’s policies, such as the decision to turn over Amazonian indigenous people’s land to oil companies, in direct violation of their constitutional rights.
For 16 years, Fundación Pachamama has worked in solidarity with indigenous organizations of Ecuador's Amazon to defend their rights and their homelands. It played a fundamental role in the establishing of the Rights of Nature in Ecuador's constitution. It also works to present a new, sustainable vision for development in Ecuador's Amazon and the country as a whole. The foundation also established the first solar boat transportation system for indigenous peoples in Ecuador's Amazon, and is working with healthcare professionals to train women and communities in safe birth practices.
Nonprofit and human rights organizations throughout the world, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are calling for the reopening of Fundación Pachamama, denouncing efforts of the Ecuadorian government to repress civil liberties, and but also for the good of all social organizations, indigenous and educational, that are at risk in Ecuador.
Your financial support is needed now, more than ever. This shutdown proves the effectiveness of our work and we can’t give in now.Donate now
Sign our Avaaz petition protesting the shutdown and take a stand on the right to free speech and assembly.Sign the Petition
Reach out to the Ecuadorian Embassy in Washington, DC and demand they work to denounce efforts of the Ecuadorian government to repress civil liberties.Email the Ecuadorian Embassy
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