Urgent Communiqué on the Shutdown of Acción Ecológica
Acción Ecológica denounces the administrative order of closure (extension and dissolution) of our organization for allegedly diverging from the goals and objectives for which we were created as requested by Diego Torres Saldaña, Vice-Ministry of Internal Security to the Ministry of Environment.
This administrative decision, according to the Ministry of Interior request to the Ministry of Environment (MDI-VSI-2016-00033), was made due to Acción Ecológica’s dissemination of “the critical environmental impacts that would result from extractive activities” in the Cordillera del Condor and for warning about human rights violations against the communities that live in the area. However, these are precisely the objectives Acción Ecológica was created for, as article 2 of our bylaw states: “Promote the defence of nature’s rights to preserve a healthy environment and to attain the rights of Buen Vivir by promoting integral respect.”
Additionally, the Ministry of Environments response (MD-CGAJ-2016-261) states we do not comply with the national legal system. We affirm that Acción Ecológica strictly follows the legal system and that our actions are in concrete harmony with the National Plan of Buen Vivir 2013-2017, which in objective 7.12.b states that it is a priority to: “Optimize the participatory environmental management and the social control for the conservation of the terrestrial and maritime biodiversity, through processes of community integration that consolidate a culture of peace and sustainability of the territory under special regimes, like that of the special territorial district of the Amazon.”
The position of Acción Ecológica in terms of the conflict in the Cordillera del Condor is and has been one which solicits a peace commission and harmony with nature, and we believe that to reach such peace we need transparency about what is taking place in these territories.
In 2009, Acción Ecológica was shut down by the current government, for the same reasons which are being discussed now; however, they were clarified and resolved in our favour.
In that moment, thousands of people in Ecuador as well as the world raised their voices in the face of such injustice. Today we are receiving new acts of solidarity which we are thankful for, in particular those from social organizations, movements, unions, institutions for the defence of human rights, environmental organizations, feminists, and others. We know that with these actions we will be able to reverse the arbitrariness and illegitimacy of the shutdown of Acción Ecológica.
Acción Ecológica has defended nature for 30 years and is also part of the International Federation of Human Rights-FIDH. We are convinced that human rights can only be guaranteed by defending the territories that support the continuation of life.
We will continue to defend human and environmental rights because “We are like straw from the páaramo. You can cut it and it will still grow.”
Quito, December 20th, 2016.
Documents on the closure of Acción Ecológica