Indigenous organization denounces repression by the Government of Ecuador against its members

Publish Date: 
Monday, January 12, 2015

The Andean Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations, CAOI, has expressed concern about the actions undertaken by the Government of Ecuador that undermine the country’s indigenous representative organizations, maintaining a strong stance in defense of the rights of peoples, communities, the environment and Mother Earth.

CAOI expressed its strong opposition to the proposed eviction of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, CONAIE, from its office of over 30 years, under the pretext that the government must accommodate a group of teenagers at risk. CONAIE called on the government to find other mechanisms to address this need rather than evicting an institution that has played an important role in the struggle for the defense of human rights and contributed to democracy in Ecuador.

According to CAOI, this action, together with other recent initiatives undertaken by the Ecuadorian government, is part of a series of repressive measures aimed at weakening social movements, especially indigenous organizations that serve as a critical voice in the face of state policies that affect the territories and rights of the country’s indigenous peoples.

The organization called for indigenous organizations and Ecuadorian civil society to join in a growing condemnation of a regime that, while purporting to be a progressive defender of human rights and the rights of nature, has only shown vengeful and repressive attitudes against indigenous people.

Finally, CAOI recalled that, according to Article 5 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, "Indigenous people have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, keeping their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State."

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