Ecuador: Amnesty International announces mission to demand protection for defenders

Amnesty International will carry out a visit to Ecuador from 8-12 March to demand a genuine commitment from the government to guarantee justice and protection for human rights defenders. 

“An Amnesty International delegation will be in Ecuador in response to the serious situation of threats and impunity that human rights defenders are facing. We want to support the efforts of defenders so that, one day, carrying out this work in Ecuador does not mean risking your life,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

“We call on the government of Ecuador to implement a protocol for the investigation of crimes against defenders and a national policy to guarantee real and effective justice and protection for them.” 

As part of its visit, the Amnesty International delegation will hold meetings with government authorities, civil society organizations and human rights defenders. 

We want to support the efforts of defenders so that, one day, carrying out this work in Ecuador does not mean risking your life
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

On Monday 9 March, the organization will deliver a petition to the Attorney General’s Office with more than 200,000 signatures collected in at least 168 countries in support of Patricia Gualinga, Nema Grefa, Salomé Aranda and Margoth Escobar, who belong to the Amazonian Women collective. These human rights and environmental defenders have been targeted in a series of attacks and death threats since 2018 and authorities have failed to take action. At 9.15am, before handing over the petition, Amnesty International and Amazonian Women will hold a press conference in front of the Attorney General’s Office building (Juan León Mera N19-36 y Av. Patria, Quito). 

Then on Thursday 12 March, at 9am, Amnesty International will present its preliminary observations from the visit at a press conference in the headquarters of the organization Acción Ecológica (Alejandro de Valdez N24-33 y La Gasca, Quito). 

The Amazonian Women and spokespeople from Amnesty International will be available for interviews. 

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: 

Duncan Tucker (Amnesty International): duncan.tucker@amnesty.org 
Benito Bonilla (Fundación Pachamama): benitobonillar@gmail.com