22 December 2016
Mr. Rafael Correa
President of Ecuador
Dear President Correa:
Above Ground is a Canadian initiative that promotes respect for universal human rights, including by transnational corporations.
I’m writing to express concern about mining activity and militarization in the territory of the Shuar indigenous nation, and regarding recent attacks on the non-governmental organization Acción Ecológica.
The Shuar people seek to protect their rights to be consulted and to withhold consent regarding commercial mining activity in their territory, including through legal action. The Shuar’s legitimate efforts to protect their procedural and territorial rights have been met with state repression, including through the declaration of a state of emergency and the militarization of their territory.
Acción Ecológica is an internationally recognized and respected civil society organization that promotes human rights and environmental sustainability. It is also a committed ally of the Shuar people.
As documented in a 2015 report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), communities and individuals who engage in social protest regarding extractive sector projects are frequently criminalized by the Ecuadorian state.
I urge your government to reverse this trend and to respect the rights of the Shuar nation and the civil society organizations that accompany it, including Acción Ecológica. I call on your government to respect Ecuadorians’ rights to freedom of speech and peaceful opposition, and urge you to protect the territorial rights of Ecuador’s indigenous nations.