From Amnesty International
Community leaders Carlos Pérez, Federico Guzmán, and Efraín Arpi have been officially notified of an 8 days prison sentence for partially blocking a road in the context of a peaceful demonstration held on 4 May 2010 in Azuay province against a proposed Water Law. They may now be imprisoned at any moment.
This case is not an isolated incident. Amnesty International’s 2012 report “So that no one can demand anything – Criminalizing the right to protest in Ecuador?” (AI Index no: AMR 28/002/2012) documents a pattern of criminalization of community leaders who have participated in peaceful protests and then face unfounded charges, arbitrary arrests and strict bail conditions simply for campaigning against laws and polices on the use of natural resources.
Or how about from Human Rights Watch:
Ecuador: End Assault on Free Speech
JUN 17, 2013
The Communications Law that the Ecuadorian National Assembly approved on June 14, 2013, seriously undermines free speech. The law includes overly broad language that will limit the free expression of journalists and media outlets.
And then there's this article from Salon
Since not long after taking office in 2007, Correa has led a systematic campaign against critical journalists in his country — human rights activists say — using litigation, legislation and intimidation against against media figures who criticize his administration. Just two weeks ago, the country’s legislature passed a sweeping new law, backed by Correa, that will “seriously affect the freedom of the press and freedom of expression,” according to the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur for the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Expression
The law lets the government decide what is “truthful” information, and threatens criminal sanctions against journalists for “undermining the prestige” of people or groups. Journalists and human rights activists say the law will give the government new powers to crack down on political enemies. It even allows authorities to order media outlets to issue public apologies for their reporting.
And then from the State Department
On April 23, the government's Unit for the Fight against Organized Crime released a report exposing the existence of a gang of hit men composed of active-duty police. The report stated that police were part of a "social cleansing group" that killed delinquents in Quevedo, Los Rios Province. In July the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, called attention to "shocking" levels of impunity for killings in the country throughout the year. He accused police of failing to investigate cases they label as "settling of accounts" between different gangs or criminal groups and stated that this "creates an easy cover for police who are themselves implicated in killings."
On August 1, police officers Nixon Guaman and Rolando Gualapanti alledegly shot and killed Christian Quimis Lozano. Police stated that gang members shot Quimis Lozano before police found him, while family members asserted that they saw police pursue and shoot him. The police opened an investigation into the case, but the two officers remained on active duty. The accused officers did not appear at the first hearing, and the case was rescheduled.
In 2008 the bodies of three men were found in a car in Manta. One of the victims was Yandry Velez, who had allegedly fled to Manta to hide from Diego Erazo, chief of the operational support unit of the Judicial Police in Pichincha Province. The family asserted that police killed Velez and his friends on orders from the mayor. The case was dismissed by year's end on grounds of insufficient evidence.
No matter if you think Snowden is a hero or a traitor, before you jump on the bandwagon of Ecuador standing up for civil rights, you better understand the country you are praising and what it's doing to its people.
Comments are closed on this story.