Urgent Action Victory! – Indigenous Defender No Longer Under Threat (Ecuador: UA 8.18)

Indigenous defender Patricia Gualinga is no longer considered under imminent threat. No new security incidents or threats against her have occurred since the 5 January attack at her home. She has since reported receiving protection measures.

Indigenous defender Patricia Gualinga told Amnesty International that she received protection measures after the organization launched an Urgent Action calling for her safety in January. The Urgent Action was in response to a 5 January attack where an unknown man threw stones at the windows of her home in Puya, Pastaza province, while yelling death threats at her. She has not reported any other security incidents or threats against her since.

Although her security situation is currently stable, Patricia Gualinga is concerned that, three months later, there has been no progress in the investigation into the attack at her home. She also told Amnesty International that the Attorney General’s Office of Pastaza province has hampered her access to the evidence gathered so far, including footage from all the public surveillance cameras close to her home, which would allow for the identification of the perpetrator.

Amnesty International will continue to monitor the situation and call on the Attorney General to promptly and thoroughly investigate the attack and to grant Patricia Gualinga access to the evidence gathered so far, including footage from all the public surveillance cameras close to her home.

Patricia Gualinga is a Kichwa Indigenous leader of Sarayaku, whose ancestral lands are located in eastern Ecuador. She works to defend rights related to land, territory and the environment in the context of extractive projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon, including oil concessions in the ancestral lands of Indigenous Peoples such as of the Kichwa of Sarayaku, the Sápara, Achuar Shuar, Shiwiar, the communities of Santa Clara, San Jacinto and the cities of Puyo and Shell-Mera. Many Indigenous leaders and human rights defenders from these communities have expressed their concerns regarding the effects that oil exploration and extraction could have on their lands, and have previously reported threats and harassment because of their human rights work.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.