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Ecuador: mass deaths in prisons violence must be fully investigated

79 inmates reportedly died in violence in various prisons yesterday ‘The authorities must be held accountable for what happened in the prisons’ - Erika Guevara-Rosas In response to reports from the Ecuadorean authorities that at least 79 people deprived of their liberty lost their lives in acts of violence several prisons yesterday, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said: “The authorities must be held accountable for what happened in the prisons and the Attorney General’s Office must investigate the facts thoroughly and independently. “The Ecuadorian authorities

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COVID-19 THREATENS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ LIVES

Covid-19 threatens indigenous peoples lives

Indigenous Child
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Indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon face a higher risk situation in the context of the pandemic due to lack of access to drinking water, food sources, medical supplies, health services and COVID-19 tests, caused by prolonged conditions of inequality, exclusion and discrimination.

In August (unspecified date), the Government published the Protocol with intercultural relevance for the prevention and care of COVID-19 in Indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian and Montubio peoples and nationalities in Ecuador, with the objective of "Establishing procedures for inter-institutional, inter-sectoral coordination and among social actors present in the territories of the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador, to provide a coordinated response and with intercultural relevance to the health emergency by COVID-19". 

According to the document, it was prepared by various government officials, with the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and "validated" by members of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and Confederation of Peoples of the Kichwa Nationality of Ecuador (ECUARUNARI). The "Emission with contributions and recommendations from delegates of Communities, Peoples and Nationalities" is dated 24 July 2020.

Indigenous and human rights organizations in the Amazon said this protocol was not adequately consulted with Indigenous communities in the Amazon, does not reflect their demands, and that they have been excluded from the Emergency Operations Committees in charge of implementing it.

After an insufficient response by the state, organizations like the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), Amazon Watch, Amazon Frontlines, Fundación ALDEA and Universidad San Francisco de Quito have led efforts to prevent, identify and treat COVID-19 cases of Indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon through providing tests, culturally-appropriate information, personal protective equipment, hygiene products, basic medicines and creating a website to monitor the pandemic and identify contagion hotspots.
On 19 August, these organizations reported 3,303 infections (2,301 confirmed and 1,002 suspected) and 80 deaths (35 confirmed and 45 suspected) related to COVID-19 among the Indigenous population in the Ecuadorian Amazon, which is 290,000. According to them, all Indigenous nationalities (ethnicities) in the Ecuadorian Amazon have cases of COVID-19. Due to scarcity of tests, the real numbers are expected to be much higher.

On 18 June, Judicial authorities granted precautionary measures to the Waorani People in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including testing suspicious infection cases, providing medical personnel and supplies, providing humanitarian aid, and limiting company operations near their territory. Nevertheless, Indigenous and human rights organizations told Amnesty that authorities have not fully complied with them.

In addition to the pandemic, on 7 April, an oil spill in the Amazon polluted the Coca and Napo rivers, affecting the environment, water, food and livelihoods of nearly 120,000 people of which 27,000 are Indigenous, mainly belonging to the Kichwa and Shuar nationalities.

On 29 April, a group of Indigenous and human rights organizations filed a constitutional protection proceeding and requested precautionary measures on behalf of the nearly 120,000 people affected by the oil spill. The petition holds responsible the Ministry of Energy and Natural and Non-Renewable Resources, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Public Health, the state oil company Petroecuador, and the private company OCP. The petitioners reported that the judge in charge of the case endangered guarantees to due process through procedural irregularities.
 

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COVID-19 THREATENS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ LIVES

Covid-19 threatens indigenous people's lives

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According to government information, by 2 July 2020, there had been 50,915 COVID-19 confirmed cases (41% of 121,328 people tested) and 4,246 deaths in Ecuador, which has a population of 17 million. 

According to the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), by 1 July 2020, there were 1,215 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (45% of the 2,673 people tested) among Indigenous persons in the Ecuadorian Amazon, of which 116 had recovered and 25 had died. Additionally, there were 622 “suspected cases” of persons showing symptoms of COVID-19, of which 12 had died. Approximately 290,000 Indigenous persons belonging to 10 nationalities (ethnicities) live in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

People’s in voluntary isolation or in recent contact could even be at risk of extinction since their populations are often small and their immune capacity could be reduced by lack of genetic diversity.

In addition to the pandemic, on 7 April, an oil spill in the Transecuadorian Pipeline System (SOTE) and the Crude Oil Pipeline (OCP) polluted the Coca and Napo rivers, affecting the environment, water, food and livelihoods of nearly 120,000 people of which 27,000 are Indigenous persons, mainly belonging to the Kichwa and Shuar nationalities (ethnicities).

On 29 April, a group of Indigenous and human rights organizations filed a constitutional protection proceeding and requested precautionary measures on behalf of the nearly 120,000 people affected by the oil spill. The petition holds responsible the Ministry of Energy and Natural and Non-Renewable Resources, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Public Health, the state oil company Petroecuador, and the private company OCP. The petitioners reported that the judge in charge of the case endangered guarantees to due process through procedural irregularities.

On 22 June, Indigenous and human rights organizations in Ecuador issued a submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the vulnerable situation of Indigenous Peoples in Ecuador in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

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Ecuador: State must investigate brutal attacks against 'Mujeres Amazonicas' and do more to protect human rights defenders

Patricia Gualinga (pictured) is a member of the Mujeres Amazónicas collective © Amnesty International

Amnesty handed a petition to the Attorney General’s Office demanding a thorough investigation into violence against the Amazonian Women collective ‘For any policy for the protection of human rights defenders to be effective, the authorities must publicly recognise the legitimacy of human rights defenders' work’ - María José Veramendi Ecuador’s government must ensure appropriate and effective investigations are carried out into the attacks and threats against members of the Mujeres Amazónicas (Amazonian Women) collective, Amnesty International said today. One year after the publication of the

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Ombudsman's life at risk over death threats

An Ecuadorian Ombudsman's life is at risk in retaliation for his human rights work. He and his family must be protected.

First UA: 22/20

Ecuador: authorities must end repression of demonstrations immediately

© RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP via Getty Images

Security forces have used tear gas and pellet guns against crowds Hundreds arrested ‘The state of emergency cannot be an excuse to violently repress people’s discontent over economic measures’ - Erika Guevara-Rosas In response to the Ecuadorian authorities’ heavy-handed repression of demonstrations across the country, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas director, said: “The Ecuadorian authorities must put an immediate end to the heavy-handed repression of demonstrations, including mass detentions. “They must conduct swift, independent and impartial investigations into all

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Ecuador: women environmental defenders in life-threatening danger due to government failings

Patricia Gualinga
Patricia Gualinga © Amazon Watch

New Amnesty International report shows Ecuadorian authorities are failing to prevent attacks against Amazonian Women environmental defenders Women have faced death threats, physical abuse, and one environmental defender had her house set on fire ‘The current government is a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ – Margoth Escobar The Ecuadorian government is failing to provide effective protection or conduct criminal investigations into the harassment of members of the ‘Amazonian Women’, a collective of Ecuadorian women who defend the Amazonian environment and the rights of Indigenous people, Amnesty

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Ecuador: Government imposes 'impossible' restrictions on Venezuelans entering the country

Venezuelan migrants in Ecuador
Venezuelan migrants in Ecuador © Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

In response to reports that Ecuadorian authorities are preventing Venezuelans from entering the country at the Rumichaca border crossing, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said: “Amnesty International calls on the government of President Lenin Moreno to stop imposing unfair restrictions on Venezuelans trying to enter the country, for example demanding a criminal record certificate. In practice, these measures foment xenophobia and stop people in need of international protection from entering the country.” “These people, among them children, pregnant women and

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Urgent Action: Environmental defender's home set on fire in Ecuador

Environmental defender Margoth Escobar could be at risk after her home was intentionally set on fire.

UA 179/18 issued 05/10/2018

Urgent Action good news: Indigenous defender in Ecuador no longer under threat

Indigenous defender Patricia Gualinga is no longer considered under imminent threat.

1st update on UA 8/18 issued 05/04/2018
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