Media Center

Press Release


  April 22, 2005

The Organization of American States (OAS) today decided to send a high-level mission to Ecuador “to work with officials of that country and with all sectors of Ecuadorian society in their effort to strengthen democracy.”

The decision to send the mission was made in accordance with Article 18 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and in keeping with an invitation issued today by a delegation of Ecuador during a special session of the Permanent Council. The resolution adopted by consensus also refers to the OAS Charter, noting that one of the Organization’s essential purposes is “to promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention.”

The Permanent Council encouraged “all political, social, and economic sectors in Ecuador to strengthen governance and ensure full respect for democratic order, the constitutional framework, and the rule of law, through dialogue and constructive participation.” It also called for “the establishment of an atmosphere of understanding that will foster peace in society.”

The OAS mission, which will leave for Ecuador as soon as possible, will be made up of the OAS Acting Secretary General, Ambassador Luigi R. Einaudi; the Permanent Council Chair, Peruvian Ambassador Alberto Borea; and representatives of different sub-regions in the hemisphere.

The special session of the Permanent Council was convened yesterday, April 21, to examine the latest developments in Ecuador, but the decision was made to continue deliberations today so that representatives of the member states could consult further with their governments.

The delegation of Ecuador came to the OAS today “to demand its solidarity” with the Ecuadorian people and government. Ecuador has suffered a deterioration of its democratic institutions in recent months and needs OAS support “in the complex task of restoring and consolidating the rule of law in our country,” in accordance with the terms of the Democratic Charter, explained Special Ambassador Blasco Peñaherrera.

The diplomat, who represented his country at the OAS from 1993 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2002, also said Ecuador would respect the offer of political asylum made to fomer President Lucio Gutiérrez by the Brazilian government and within the next hours would carry out the procedures for his safe passage and exile.

Article 18 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter establishes that “when situations arise in a member state that may affect the development of its democratic political institutional process or the legitimate exercise of power,” the Secretary General or the Permanent Council may, with prior consent of the affected government, arrange for visits to analyze the situation. Based on its collective assessment, the Permanent Council may, if necessary, “adopt decisions for the preservation of the democratic system and its strengthening.”

Resolution - Support by the Organization of American States for the Republic of Ecuador

Reference: E-079/05