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Statement of the OAS General Secretariat on Events in Ecuador

  June 22, 2022

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) is closely following the events taking place in Ecuador, as a result of the various mobilizations and protests led by the Indigenous Community for economic and social reforms, which has spread to several cities in the country, resulting in road blockades, clashes with security forces, shutdown of public transportation and closure of the Airport in Quito.

The General Secretariat calls on parties to initiate a dialogue with the participation of the Confederation of Indigenous Nations (CONAIE), in order to address the claims of the community. It is necessary that the political system gives immediate response on improvement of subsidies, cancellation of overdue loans, as well as resolving the state of emergency in the health sector and improvements in the budget for intercultural education, among others.

On the other hand, the General Secretariat is concerned about coup speeches such as "the only objective, the only resolution is to remove Lasso, we do not want any dialogue". Protest must always be peaceful and democratic, in the principles that sustain it and in the ends it pursues. The constitutional mandates granted directly by the people must be respected, essentially until the people pronounce themselves again in free and democratic elections.

The OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter apply equally to all Member States and, above all, to those in positions of responsibility, whether in government, the opposition or civil society, to ensure that in critical situations, possible political rivalries, normal in any democracy, do not involve fear of violence or intimidation from one side or the other, and that provocations or responses to provocations are avoided. Violence and excessive use of force can only merit our condemnation in any situation. When protesting, the protesters must do so in a peaceful manner respecting democratic institutions, and the State has the obligation to protect the fundamental rights of all; the life and integrity of the population and of the members of the public forces and public property, and if it uses public force to do so, it must do so in a proportionate manner also respecting democratic institutions.

No State of Emergency decreed should exceed the needs of the situation being faced in a reasonable manner, in order to avoid prolongations in time, disproportionality or deviation or abuse of power, since the arbitrary use of it translates into the affectation of democracy and limitations to freedom of expression, equality before the law and freedom of association established in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.

Reference: E-035/22