Democracy in Ecuador has significantly deteriorated since 2007, when President Rafael Correa came to power. Particularly worrying is the degree to which power has become concentrated in the hands of the executive. Violations of fundamental rights and freedoms of the indigenous communities occur regularly.
The Ecuadorian indigenous peoples are being denied their right to own land (and share in decision-making about its use for mining mineral ores) and freedom of assembly, despite the fact that such rights are expressly granted to them in the Constitution of Ecuador. When planning massive investments into mining, no consultation takes place with the indigenous peoples concerning the intended activities even though they often have a direct effect on their lives and are often implemented without their prior consent. Any opposition from the indigenous population against intensive mining in their homelands is met with aggressive persecution by the state.
Civil society support
In 2015, we visited the country to gain a more accurate picture of the human rights situation. Based on our experiences from this trip, we decided to support local human rights defence organisations. We focus primarily on organisations that are bringing together the representatives of the indigenous communities. The main aim of our work in Ecuador is not only to reinforce the ability of the indigenous communities to defend their rights and territories, but also to help to develop the organisational skills of the supported organisations.