Following social protests against proposed Water and Mining laws, several Shuar indigenous leaders form the province of Morona Santiago were charged with organized terrorism. According to various human rights organizations, the claim to terrorism has “seriously undermined the international principles to the right to protest and contravenes the international definition of what is meant by a terrorist act.”
It is fitting to mention that these acts are taking place within the framework of the implementation of large-scale, open-pit mining on indigenous lands on the part of foreign companies, which without due oversight by the state of their activities, have contributed to the growth in social conflicts and have led to the violation of fundamental rights of affected communities.”
There exists a grounded fear that the above-mentioned indigenous men have been implicated in this crime merely for being social leaders and/or for having opposed through public demonstration the government’s proposed water law that was not previously consulted with indigenous peoples. As a result, our organizations condemn the criminalization of protest in Ecuador, as well as the appeal to national justice as a means to silence social demands.”
Read full article here.