UN to probe rights abuses in Ecuador after deadly protests
The UN said Friday that it would send a team of investigators to Ecuador, following an invitation from the government, to investigate alleged violations committed during recent deadly protests.
The United Nations rights office said that three of its staff members would visit from October 20 through November 8 to look into allegations of abuses, including by state security forces.
The announcement came after President Lenin Moreno and indigenous leaders reached an agreement Sunday to end nearly two weeks of violent protests against austerity measures adopted to obtain a multi-billion-dollar loan from the IMF.
The demonstrations, which left eight people dead and some 1,300 injured, were sparked when Moreno scrapped fuel subsidies to obtain a $4.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, causing prices to double.
“Our Office has received allegations of human rights violations committed by state security forces, as well as reports of crimes committed by third parties,” UN rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.
She also voiced concern about reports of arrests, including of political actors and elected officials, in connection with the protests that erupted on October 3.
Shamdasani said the UN welcomed Ecuador’s willingness to engage with the rights office.
She said UN investigators would seek to meet with government officials, indigenous leaders, representatives of civil society, journalists and others to gather first-hand information on the violence.
The UN, she said, was calling “on the authorities to conduct a prompt, effective, transparent, independent, and impartial investigations into all human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of the protests.”