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Ecuador: ABA preliminary report finds alleged irregularities in criminal proceedings against trade unionist Jorge Acosta

'Ecuador: Preliminary Report on Criminal Charges Filed Against Labor Organizer Jorge Acosta', 23 March 2021

Jorge Acosta, a workers’ rights advocate and the coordinator of the banana workers’ union ASTAC in Ecuador, has faced numerous criminal accusations related to his organizing efforts. These criminal proceedings against him have been characterized by a number of serious irregularities. The ABA Center for Human Rights (CHR) conducts trial observations around the world to encourage compliance with fair trial standards...

On April 18, 2019, shortly after Jorge Acosta  published a complaint submitted to the European Commission stating that Ecuador was in breach of basic labor rights provisions of the Multiparty Trade Agreement of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and the European Union, Acosta was notified of a formal complaint made against him by a private individual, accusing  him of spreading “false information regarding the treatment that agricultural workers receive in Ecuador”...

Subsequently, on February 7, 2020, Mr. Acosta was arrested for allegedly violating a judge’s privacy when he attempted to film the judge’s response to his request for court documents relating to the dismissal of banana workers who attempted to form a trade union...
The proceedings against Mr. Acosta have been characterized by repeated irregularities... there are grounds for concern that these irregularities are the result of an improper motive for the criminal proceedings, namely a desire to intimidate the defendant and interfere with lawful organizing activities...

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