Saying it “has not complied with the aims for which it was created” in 1998, Ecuador’s government withdrew the legal charter of the Quito-based non-governmental organization Acción Ecológica, effectively ordering the group closed. The order, issued March 2 by Health Minister Caroline Chang and made public a week later, was protested by Acción Ecológica as “unconstitutional.”
“We are perplexed,” Acción Ecológica said in its statement, asserting that its mission, as defined by its charter, is “to defend natural resources, preserve a healthy environment, and defend the rights of nature.” (The move came days after Acción Ecológica had called for sanctions against the consortium that operates Ecuador’s trans-Andean oil pipeline, following a devastating spill in the Amazon region.)
Ecuador recently took the same action against the Latin American Association of Human Rights (ALDHU), an international NGO which had advocated on behalf of a Mexican and two Colombians who survived a Colombian military raid on a FARC guerilla base in Ecuadoran territory last year. ALDHU has moved its offices from Quito to Montevideo, Uruguay. (Confirmado.net, Acción Ecológica, Quito, March 9)
See our last post on Ecuador and the struggle for the Amazon.