Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, José Valencia, considered this Thursday “subjective” the assessment of a recent report of the IACHR, which indicated that the Ecuadorian public force incurred “excessive use of force” during protests in the country in October past.
“It is an appreciation of the (Inter-American) Human Rights Commission that we find absolutely subjective,” said the head of Ecuadorian diplomacy in a press appearance at the headquarters of his Ministry in Quito.
Valencia argued that the aforementioned IACHR report, released on Tuesday, “does not examine the context of the demonstrations, does not examine the fact that there is not a single gunshot wound during the events of October.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility insisted that the public force “had a great restriction” and “care” that the means used specifically serve to maintain order and prevent excesses from occurring.
“That is what law enforcement is for, they are not simply to see disorder, violence and chaos, and do nothing,” he said before recalling that the law forces security forces to protect the rights of people who can being affected by situations of violence and adversity “as extreme as we experienced in October”.
The IACHR requested last Tuesday the Ecuadorian authorities to investigate and punish the police who incurred “excessive use of force” during the protests, as well as the population responsible for looting.
This is one of the recommendations to the Ecuadorian State that the Commission made in a document prepared from the visit it made to Ecuador between October 28 and 30, 2019, at the invitation of the Government of President Lenín Moreno.
During their visit to the South American country, the representatives of the Commission met with authorities of the three branches of the State (Executive, Judicial and Legislative), members of the Constitutional Court and with a large group of civil society organizations, including groups of indigenous peoples, in the cities of Quito, Cuenca, Guayaquil and Latacunga.
The agency compiled the testimony of 380 people who claim to be victims of human rights violations or other abuses in the context of the protests.
Valencia pointed out that the conclusions of the document do not fully reflect the information collected by the observers, and that they may have been biased by taking into account the testimonies of some actors against those of others and apparently minimizing the context in which the authorities saw each other. involved, with looting, captures of law enforcement and premeditated fires to the Comptroller and media.
In October, Ecuador experienced a wave of riots and indigenous protests for eleven days for the cancellation of the gasoline subsidy, a decision taken by decree by Moreno in line with an agreement adopted with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In the context of the protests, a dozen people died and more than 1,500 were injured, including 435 members of the security forces.
The disorders concluded once Moreno repealed the controversial decree after reaching an agreement with indigenous leaders with the mediation of the UN and the Church.