Ecuador: NGO report explores cases of judicial harassment of indigenous peoples & environmentalists opposing extractive projects

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 27 March 2018

“Ecuador: Judicial Harassment of Amazonian Defenders” - March 26, 2018

Amazonians on trial 

…The government of former President Rafael Correa abused the criminal justice system to target indigenous leaders and environmentalists who protested mining and oil exploration in the Amazon, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The groups are operating more freely under President Lenín Moreno, but the abusive prosecutions set in motion by his predecessor remain unaddressed….The 30-page report, “Amazonians on Trial: Judicial Harassment of Indigenous Leaders and Environmentalists in Ecuador,” shows that prosecutors in three prominent cases failed to produce sufficient evidence to support serious charges or justify the years-long continuation of a criminal investigation. On March 28, 2018, a trial court in Morona Santiago will rule on the case of a Shuar indigenous leader, Agustín Wachapá, for allegedly inciting violence through a Facebook post. On March 16, a court ordered the arrest of Pepe Acacho, another Shuar indigenous leader, to serve a prison sentence over a charge he never had an opportunity to defend himself at trial.

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