Earlier today, the Ecuadorian government shut down Fundación Pachamama, accusing it of fomenting dissent and violence. Below is a statement put out by Fundación Pachamama’s President, Maria Belén Páez:

Fundación Pachamama on International and Public Opinion

We regret to inform you that today, Wednesday December 4, 2013, officials from the Police Administration of Pinchincha came to the offices of Fundación Pachamama in the city of Quito and proceeded to close the offices and left us a resolution from the Ministry of Environment stating that our organization is dissolved.

This closure is an arbitrary act that seeks to suppress our legitimate right to dissent from the decision of the National Government to concede areas of Amazonian indigenous nations to oil companies, without respecting their constitutional rights and to free, prior and informed consultation, according to the standards of the International Law of Human Rights.

Our position is based on the exercise of human rights and the rights of nature and is based on actions under the rule of law. For the past 16 years we have offered our support and solidarity with indigenous organizations that legitimately represent the ancestral peoples of the Amazon.

We reject violent demonstrations that come from any sector. We neither support nor engage in any violent act. We cannot be blamed for acts in which we have not participated.

For our work in defending rights, we have been attacked publically and violently by those who hold political power, and this has been widely disseminated by the media under government control. That is violence. It is also violence to dissolve an organization unexpectedly, without legal cause, without due process that guarantees self-defense.

Faced with this aggression, we declare:

1. We do not waive our right to defend rights.

2. We dispute the unlawful decision by all legal means at our disposal .

We will not allow this aggression of which we have been victim to divert attention and debate away from the underlying issue. This is a violation of the collective rights of indigenous Amazonian peoples and the rights of nature, for an oil round that is against the will of the rightful owners of the affected territories, through a process of “socialization”, not a consultation.

Maria Belén Páez

Read our other news reports on the shut down and recent results of Ecuador’s XI Oil Round:

Breaking News on the Shutdown of Fundación Pachamama

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