Ecuador: OAS member states must demand that Ecuador investigate violent repression during the state of emergency

In light of the statement adopted by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), Amnesty International calls on OAS member states to demand that Ecuador investigate promptly, thoroughly and impartially the human rights violations committed in the context of the security forces' repression of the demonstrations, in order to guarantee truth, justice and reparation for the victims.

“It is very worrying that, one day after suspending the state of emergency, Ecuador is attempting to erase and forget the human rights violations resulting from the excessive use of force by the police and the army against protesters. Unless they demand truth and justice, the countries that make up the Organization of American States will be turning their backs on the victims of these violations and fostering impunity,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

It is very worrying that, one day after suspending the state of emergency, Ecuador is attempting to erase and forget the human rights violations resulting from the excessive use of force by the police and the army against protesters
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

The Ombudsman of Ecuador has reported that, between 3 and 13 October, 1,192 people were detained, 1,340 were injured and eight died in the context of the state of emergency.

The Ombudsman documented numerous cases where the security forces used excessive force; carried out arbitrary detentions; and subjected individuals, including journalists and human rights defenders, to torture and other ill-treatment; as well as violently entering private property. In addition, he reported that tear gas and pellet guns were used indiscriminately against protesters and universities that provided humanitarian assistance to the population, affecting children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Despite reports of violence perpetrated by protesters and other groups, the authorities must take all appropriate measures to address violent incidents, while ensuring that those who protest peacefully can continue to do so. They must also conduct all relevant investigations to bring the perpetrators of such acts of violence to justice with guarantees of due process and a fair trial.

Unless they demand truth and justice, the countries that make up the Organization of American States will be turning their backs on the victims of these violations and fostering impunity
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

Amnesty International reiterates its call to the government of President Moreno to ensure that austerity measures, such as those that sparked the mass demonstrations in the country, are designed and implemented in accordance with international human rights law. The state must ensure that these are temporary, reasonable and proportionate, that less restrictive alternative measures have been exhausted, and that affected individuals and groups are guaranteed meaningful participation.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Duncan Tucker: duncan.tucker@amnesty.org