NGO’s closed by government of Bolivia and Ecuador

Posted on January 3, 2014 • Filed under: Ecuador, Politics reported in past weeks, the governments of Ecuador and Bolivia moved to shut down or expel major NGOs (non-government organizations) that work on issues of the environment, extractivism, and indigenous rights. In Ecuador, the Ministry of Environment dissolved the Fundación Pachamama (Pachamama Foundation) after accusing it of anti-government activities. Despite the NGO’s own denials, President Rafael Correa alleged that the organization was involved in protests against the latest round of bidding for oil concessions in the Amazon. Shortly thereafter, the Interior Ministry’s Twitter feed announced tersely, amidst reports of drug busts and other police actions, that it was moving to close the NGO for “aggressions” against public order.


Fundación Pachamama works with indigenous organizations contending with oil development. It derives significant support from the U.S.-based Pachamama Alliance, which is in turn funded primarily by American (non-governmental) donors. When Ecuador’s government deemed the group’s opposition to oil bidding an action against “internal state security” and “public peace,” it treated the NGO like a criminal, sending a signal to environmental activists about limits on opposition to extraction. Yet the Correa government maintains that their dissolving of the organization is an assertion of sovereignty against the political meddling of foreign-backed organizations. (Incidentally, see Naomi Klein’s open letter to Correa following the threatened closure of another NGO, Acción Ecológica, in 2009). Read Article

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