CONFENIAE on the Raid on Radio Voz de Arutam, Attacks on Freedom of Expression and Militarization in #MoronaSantiago
- January 27, 2017
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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CONFENIAE via confeniae.net
CONFENIAE'S Governing Council rejects the raid on the community radio Voz de Arutam this morning by more than 100 policemen, who removed equipment from and ransacked the offices of the Interprovincial Federation of Shuar Communities (FICSH).
This heavy handed act by the police constitutes a serious attack on freedom of expression and the right of community media to inform the public, thereby violating the country's constitution.
This is the second time that the property of the Shuar people has been attacked; its headquarters was already raided in the month of December during the unjust detention of the maximum leader of the FISCH, Agustín Wachapá.
The Shuar people have had their legitimate rights permanently violated by a State that demonstrates its incapacity to solve the conflicts it generates when it militarizes the territories of indigenous nations.
It is evident that the government has no intention of arriving at solutions to the conflict, responding instead with arrogance and abuse of authority against those who struggle to defend their territory – our source of life – as evidenced by the following facts:
- There is no debate on the mining problem that afflicts the Amazon; the only response is further militarization
- A state of exception was decreed that violates rights of the people and that far from making feasible solutions, deepens the existing crisis.
- Amazonian leaders and leaders are persecuted, imprisoned, prosecuted and criminalized for defending the interests of their communities.
- Raids of property and assets of indigenous organizations are carried out in a heavy handed manner.
CONFENIAE has stressed the need to discuss the mining issue as a first step to understanding the root causes of the conflict in south central Amazon. Likewise we have called for the search for solutions [to the conflict] without our call being heard by the Ecuadorian government.
We emphasize that the conflict has deepened, with no solutions provided, therefore the incidents that result from the militarization of the territory are of absolute responsibility of, and caused by, the current government.
We urge national and international institutions to denounce all rights violation occurring in Ecuador, thus raising a global voice of rejection and protest against the acts committed by the government against the Shuar people.
At present helicopters are flying over communities, hundreds of soldiers are entering the territory, the police raid the property of the Shuar people, the judiciary is chasing the leaders. This is the reality that is happening in Morona Santiago and that the Voice of Arutam Radio has been communicating. It was attacked for fulfilling its mission, and that is an an act of absolute arrogance that deserves the condemnation of all the Ecuadorian people.