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Message-Id: <v02140b03afd99fdbcf5b@[]>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 15:19:11 -0800
From: saiic@igc.apc.org (SAIIC)
Sender: owner-taino-l@corso.ccsu.ctstateu.edu

Huaorani office raided by military and ONHAE President accused of murder

From South and Meso American Indian Rights Center (SAIIC)
16 June 1997

In recent days, the Huaorani people's organization ONHAE has experienced a series of difficult and extremely disturbing events which require the Huaorani's international allies to respond with support.

Earlier this month, the Ecuadorian military raided the ONHAE office in the town of Shell, confiscating the organization's radios the Huaorani leaders depend on to communicate with the communities. Accounts from one source in Shell say that the military took action in order to keep the Huaorani from "talking to the Peruvians." Several days later, the ONHAE president (Juan) was involved in a fight with a few soldiers, possibly in a bar room brawl scenario. Apprarently, one of the soldiers has died and as a result, and in the last few days Juan has been put jail, accused of murder.

While the details of this situation are still not clear, there is real concern in Ecuador that the Huaorani leader is been beaten and tortured. In addition, the outlook for fair legal proceedings is dim.

Please take a moment to write the President of Ecuador, asking him to initiate an independent investigation into the case and the possiblity of military harassment of indigenous organizations. Please send a copy of your letter the U.S. Embassy in Quito, attention Alfredo Anzaldua (fax 011-593-2-502-025 or e-mail ALFRED.ANZALDUA@DOS.US-STATE.GOV).

Sample letter follows (if you can send it in Spanish, even better):

Honorable Fabian Alarco
President of the Republic
Casa Presidencial
Calle Garcia Moreno
Quito, Ecuador
fax: 011-593-2-580-735

Dear President Alarcon:

I am writing to respectfully urge you to immediately initiate an investigation into the recent events in Shell, Pastaza concerning the military seizure of ONHAE (Organizacion de Nacionalidades Huaoranis de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana) property and the encarceration of ONHAE's president under the charge of murder.

The news of these events in Pastaza is cause for concern, particularly in light of military involvement and the difficulties indigenous leaders have traditionally faced in legal proceedings. Government initiative on this case is clearly necessary in order to address this delicate situation.

Thank you for your concern.



South and Meso American Indian Rights Center (SAIIC)
P.O. Box 28703
Oakland CA, 94604
Phone: (510)834-4263 Fax: (510)834-4264
Email: saiic@igc.apc.org
Office: 1714 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Oakland

Home Page: http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/nativeweb/abyayala/orgs/saiic

For more information about SAIIC, send an empty email message to:

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