On December 4th, 2013, officials of the government of Ecuador 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 came on the heels of indigenous protests in late November against its 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.
The shutdown was an arbitrary act that represses Fundación Pachamama’s legitimate right to disagree with the government’s policies, including its decision to turn over Amazonian indigenous people’s land to oil companies, in direct violation of their constitutional rights. Fundación Pachamama’s first appeal of the government's decision was denied.
It has submitted a second appeal to the civil court system in Ecuador, and on March 28th, 2014, took its case to a topic hearing titled “Situation of the Right to Freedom of Association and Environmental Defenders in Ecuador” at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Washington D.C.
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 is also in the midst of establishing 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 signed on to a letter of solidarity calling for the reinstatement of Fundación Pachamama, and hundreds of others issued individual statements of support, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Groups are denouncing efforts of the Ecuadorian government to repress civil liberties, for the good of all social organizations that are at risk in Ecuador.
Your donations now will allow us to support our sister organization in defending its legal rights and continuing its work in Ecuador.Provide financial support
Sign our Avaaz petition protesting the shutdown and take a stand on the right to free speech and assembly.Sign the Petition
Email Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, Minister of Environment Lorena Tapia, and Minister of Interior José Serrano to demand they reverse their decision and reinstate Fundación Pachamama.Email Ecuador's President
Send an email to your local Ecuadorian Embassy and demand they work to reinstate Fundación Pachamama and protect the expression of civil liberties in Ecuador.Email your Ecuadorian embassy
Ask your community to stand in solidary with us and our indigenous allies in our ongoing work to protect the Amazon.
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