Ecuador
06.10.09
Urgent Interventions

Ecuador: Alleged excessive use of force by police in Morona Santiago

Case ECU 061009/ ECU 061009.DESC _EN
URGENT CAMPAIGNS/ ECONOMICAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGTHS

Alleged excessive used of force by the police/ Ill-treatment during detention/ Arbitrary detention

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requires your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Ecuador.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by reliable sources, among them Antenna International, a member organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the alleged excessive use of force by the police against members of the indigenous group Shuar, the death of Mr. Bosco Wisum, aged about 40 years, and the injuries sustained by several persons, both indigenous people as well as police officers, besides the detention of others persons, amid facts that happened in Sevilla de Yunkias area, Morona Santiago Province, in the framework of a peaceful indigenous protest organised by the group CONAIE[1] and carried out in several locations of the province.

According to the information received, on 30 September 2009, at around 4 p.m., a group of indigenous people was attacked by police officers who attempted to evacuate the bridge over the river Upano, in the Sevilla de Yunkias area, which was kept blocked by indigenous people since 27 September, midnight. As a consequence, Mr. Bosco Wisum, member of the ethnic group Shuar, from the community Sagrado Corazón Yukias, and director of a bilingual intercultural school in Sevilla town, in the Amazonian jungle, died.

According to the information, and the forensic report read in a press conference by the governor of the mentioned province, Mr. Wisum died from a bullet wound to the head (“herida contusa penetrante craneana por perdigón de arma de fuego”). Furthermore, numerous people resulted injured and some others detained. According to the reports, during the events described, the police combed the area by land and air and a large amount of bullet shell would have been found on the road and the surrounding area.

According to the same information, among the people injured and hospitalised in Sucua are: Mr. Lucio Antonio (gravely injured), and Mr. Miguel Yampis, Mr. Francisco Sant, Mr. Francisco Sharut, Mr. Rosendo Shacay, and Mr. Luís Washikiat (all of them slightly injured).

Furthermore, reports indicate that Mr. Salvador Wisum, Mr. Salvador Sentsu, Mr. Eugenio Nawel and Mr. Agustín Wachapa remain detained in Macas city, capital of the province.

OMCT expresses its concern about the violent attack suffered by the communities due to their active participation for the withdrawal of the recently approved Law on Mining and the Law on Water, to be approved, that threaten the fundamental rights of the communities and the people. OMCT has been informed that communities are also attacked due to their constant fight in defence of their territory, and, particularly, against the mining and oil enterprises that have initiated massive mining projects during the last years, among others, open air mining, considered harmful for the environment and for the life of the communities living in the territory.

OMCT recalls that, in this case, the causes of the death of Mr. Bosco Wisum and the alleged violence against Mr. Lucio Antonio, Mr. Miguel Yampis, Mr. Francisco Sant, Mr. Francisco Sharut, Mr. Rosendo Shacay, Mr. Luis Washikiat, Mr. Salvador Wisum, Mr. Salvador Sentsu, Mr. Eugenio Nawel, and Mr. Agustín Wachapa, among others people, lie in the violation of their economic, social and cultural rights[2].

OMCT expresses its concern over these events, and urges the authorities to carry out a prompt, complete, independent, effective and impartial investigation into these events, in particular the death of Mr. Bosco Wisum and the alleged excessive use of force by the police, the results of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.

Finally, OMCT recalls the police to respect human rights according to national and international human rights standards, including the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms and the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Ecuador urging them to:

  1. Take immediate appropriate measures to guarantee the safety and physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Lucio Antonio, Mr. Miguel Yampis, Mr. Francisco Sant, Mr. Francisco Sharut, Mr. Rosendo Shacay, Mr. Luis Washikiat, Mr. Salvador Wisum, Mr. Salvador Sentsu, Mr. Eugenio Nawel and Mr. Agustín Wachapa, and the adequate and free medical care that they require, as well as to guarantee the safety and physical and psychological integrity of all the members of their families;
  2. Order the immediate release of Mr. Salvador Wisum, Mr. Salvador Sentsu, Mr. Eugenio Nawel and, Mr. Agustín Wachapa and all the other persons, that would had been detained in the framework of the facts above described, in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, and if such charges exist, to ensure that they are given a prompt and fair trial, in which their procedural rights are guaranteed at all times;
  3. Call upon the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these events, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
  4. Guarantee adequate reparation, which includes rehabilitation and a compensation, to the family of Mr. Bosco Wisum, as well as to Mr. Lucio Antonio, Mr. Miguel Yampis, Mr. Francisco Sant, Mr. Francisco Sharut, Mr. Rosendo Shacay, Mr. Luís Washikiat, Mr. Salvador Wisum, Mr. Salvador Sentsu, Mr. Eugenio Nawel and Mr. Agustín Wachapa, and all those persons that were injured and/or detained during the facts above described;
  5. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards, in particular the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

Addresses

  • Misión Permanente de Ecuador ante las Naciones Unidas en Ginebra. 145, Rue de Lausanne, 1202 Ginebra. Tel.: + 41.22.732.49.55; FAX: + 41 22 732 48 34; E-mail: onuginebra@mmrree.gov.ec
  • Dr. Rafael Correa Delgado, Presidencia de la República del Ecuador, Palacio de Gobierno, García Moreno y Chile 1043, Quito, Ecuador. Fax: + 593 2 258 07 35; + 593 2 258 07 79; + 593 2 258 0761 Correo Electrónico (E-mail): despresi@presidencia.ec-gov.net
  • Embajada de Ecuador en Bruselas, 363 avenue Louise, 1050 Ixelles, Bélgica. Fax: + 32 2 644 28 13 E-mail: amb.equateur@skynet.be
  • Sr. Miguel Carvajal Aguirre, Ministro Coordinador de Seguridad Interna y Externa, Calle García Moreno y Bolívar (esquina) Edificio: ex Archivo Histórico del Banco Central Tel.: + 593 2228 7666 E-mail: info@micsie.gov.ec
  • Abogado Néstor Arbito Chica, Ministro de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Av.Amazonas N 34-451 y Atahualpa Tel: 593 2 246 4907 / 593 2246 3083 E-mail: webmaster@minjusticia.gov.ec
  • Doctor Gustavo Jalkh, Ministerio de Gobierno y Policía, Espejo y Benalcázar, Quito, Ecuador. E-mail: informacion@mingobierno.goc.ec , Tel: + 593 2 295 56 66 + 593 2 295 86 77
  • Dr. Washington Pesantez Muñoz, Fiscal General del Estado, Calle Roca y Juan León Mera, Quito Tel.: + 593 2 256 17 01 + 593 2 290 50 53 Fax: Fax: + 593 2 255 94 47 + 593 2 290 46 76 Av. Patria y 12 de Octubre, Ed. Tocuyo. Quito Ecuador E-mail: despacho@minpec.gov.ec
  • Doctor Javier Ponce Cevallos, Ministro de Defensa Nacional, Av. Maldonado parque La Recoleta, E-mail: midenasocial@org , Tel.: + 593 2 2952043 Fax: + 593 2 258 04 31
  • Dr. Fander Falconí Benítez, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio e Integración, Carrión y Av. 10 de Agosto, E-mail: gabminis@mmrree.gov.ec , Tel.: + 593 2 299 32 79
  • Sr. Freddy Martínez, Comandante General de la Policía Nacional, Ramírez Dávalos 612 y Av. 10 de Agosto, Quito, Ecuador Fax: + 593 2 250 60 66 + 593 2 258 33 94
  • Licenciado Felipe Marcelino Chumpi Jimpikit, Prefectura Provincia de Morona Santiago, Av. 24 de Mayo entre Bolívar y Domingo Comín, Macas, Ecuador, Tel.: + 593 7 2700116 + 593 7 270 04 30

Please also write to the embassies of Ecuador in your respective country.

Geneva, 6 October 2009

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

[1] The communities of indigenous people integrated in the CONAIE decided to carry out on 27 September 2009, midnight, a peaceful indigenous people protest, as a way to pressure the Government to initiate a dialogue with the aim of making possible that the proceeding and the approval of the Law of Water were done according to the Constitution and the international treaties and that the legal proposals about the issue were analysed. It has been denounced that indigenous people's constant petitions for dialogue with the National Government have not succeeded. In the framework of the mobilisation, several peaceful protests were carried out and, on 28 September, at night, the CONAIE announced the suspension of the indigenous protest; however, this decision was rejected by the bases of the movement alleging that the communities had not been consulted.

[2] See Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Committee's recommendations to the Government of Ecuador, Document: E/C.12/1/Add.100. Ecuador 07/06/2004: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/E.C.12.1.Add.100.Sp?Opendocument. E. Observations and comments 35. The Committee strongly urges the State party to ensure that indigenous people participate in decisions affecting their lives. The Committee particularly requests that the State party consult and seek the consent of the indigenous people concerned prior to the implementation of natural resources-extracting projects and on public policy affecting them, in accordance with ILO Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. The Committee strongly recommends that the State party implement legislative and administrative measures to avoid violations of environmental laws and rights by transnational companies.


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