Phenomenon of Criminalisation of Social Protest in Ecuador

Posted on December 11, 2015 • Filed under: Conflicts, Crime, Ecuador, Politics reported… and its member organisations in Ecuador, CEDHU and INREDH present and publish today a report (in spanish) analysing the phenomenon of criminalisation of social protest in Ecuador and urge the State to recognise the importance of freedom of speech and the legitimacy of peaceful denunciation, opposition and monitoring of extraction projects or land related projects. The report entitled (titre) also examines violations of the American Convention on Human Rights (CADH) by the State of Ecuador during the judicial proceedings against several community leaders and human rights defenders in Ecuador.

This report is presented today on International Human Rights Day, in the context of major demonstrations to protest the approval of constitutional amendments including one allowing indefinite presidential re-election.

,,,,”Companies and the State of Ecuador have filed criminal charges against community leaders and human rights defenders who were rightfully protesting to defend their rights and their lands. Priority must be given to putting an end to the prejudicial position that sees the defence of human rights as a crime in itself. Similarly, it is urgent for the administration of justice to become more independent of the government’s and the business’ stigmatising declarations,” declared our organisations……

The criminalisation of social protests in Latin America is growing ever stronger. In Ecuador this practice is used to hinder the actions of social leaders, to intimidate and stigmatise those who protest against industrial projects or to defend their lands. Six years after the recognition of the misuse of justice as a tool of persecution against social leaders–human rights defenders–by the National Constituent Assembly, we now see, despite this positive fact, an upsurge of this phenomenon in Ecuador. That is why FIDH and its member organisations decided to investigate a certain number of representative cases. Read Article


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