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20 Nov 2023

Ecuador: Three women human rights defenders working as coordinators of the Trade Union Association of Agricultural Workers and Peasants receive death threats

Maricela Guzmán, Diana Montoya and Miriam Ternoz of ASTAC, the Trade Union Association of Agricultural Workers and Farmers (Asociación Sindical de Trabajadores Agrícolas y Campesinos), received identical Whatsapp messages in which the senders threatened to kill them. The message included detailed information about the defenders' family members and addresses. The three women were told to refrain from defending workers' rights and not to interfere with the interests of the banana companies.

ASTAC has been working to improve labour rights, health and safety issues and environmental impacts related to the banana sector for more than a decade. In 2018, ASTAC coordinator Jorge Acosta received death threats, and has also faced legal threats.

Swedwatch and 27 other CSOs called on companies sourcing from Ecuador to reach out to suppliers and take necessary steps to ensure the case is investigated.

Axfood, Greenfood, Martin & Servera and Menigo released a statement concerning the attacks.