Ecuador: Government Eases Restrictions on Civil Society
In response to the government of President Moreno loosening restrictions on civil society in Ecuador and allowing the environmental and indigenous rights NGO Fundación Pachamama to resume its work, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“President Moreno has sent an encouraging signal to Ecuador’s civil society organizations by allowing Pachamama to be re-incorporated, reversing actions by former President Correa against human rights and democracy groups,” said Carlos Ponce, director of Latin America programs at Freedom House. “Much more remains to be done to protect fundamental rights, including the ability of civil society to publicly debate government policies.”
In 2013, the interior ministry of then president Rafael Correa dissolved Fundación Pachamama for violating decrees 16 and 739, which granted the executive broad regulatory powers over civil society organizations. The decision came shortly after the organization organized a protest against new oil concessions in indigenous territories. On November 17, the current environment minister reversed that decision, stating that the previous administration had violated due process in dissolving Pachamama. In October, President Moreno repealed decrees 16 and 739, replacing them with softer measures to regulate civil society.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.