Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 15:19:11 -0800
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (SAIIC)
Subject: UA/Ecuador: HUAORANI OFFICE RAIDED, LEADER IMPRISIONED
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
Calle Garcia Moreno
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
Office: 1714 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Oakland
Home Page: http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/nativeweb/abyayala/orgs/saiic
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