Protests follow assassination of Ecuadorian rights defender
VIENNA (AUSTRIA) – Activists plan to protest here today Monday Nov. 10 at 5pm outside the Ecuadorian embassy to denounce the assassination of Angel Shingre, a well-known campesino leader and human rights defender killed in Ecuador last week.
Friends of the Earth International wants the Ecuadorian government to launch an independent investigation into the assassination. The demonstration was organised by Friends of the Earth Austria (GLOBAL 2000) on behalf of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), the world’s largest grassroots environmental federation. Some of the 68 FoEI national groups around the globe announced they also intend to organise protests outside Ecuadorian embassies in their countries.
Friends of the Earth Austria staff were working since June 2003 with Angel Shingre against the plans of the Austrian transnational corporation OMV to get involved in Ecuadorian oil business.
Angel Shingre, 47 years old, was outstanding in his dedication to helping small farmers and indigenous communities. For more than 20 years, he worked tirelessly to promote environmental rights and defend affected communities in the face of abuses by oil companies and a culture of impunity in the region.
At the time of his murder, he served as Coordinator of the Office of Environmental Law in Orellana Province (Ecuador).
During his final weeks, before the cold-blooded assassination on the morning of November 4 in the city of Coca (Orellana), he helped and advised communities that are affected by the oil field known as Pindo and communities in the Shiripuno River area.They are organizing to vindicate their rights against Oil giant Chevron Texaco.
His assassination took place just few days after the beginning (22.10.2003) of a major lawsuit by 88 plaintiffs in the name of 30.000 rainforest inhabitants against Chevron Texaco for damages the transnational corporation allegedly caused in the Amazon Rainforest since the 1970s. The lawsuit takes place in Lago Agrio, 170 km north east of Quito.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Andreas Baur or Karl Schellmann (German or English)
Tel : +43/1/812 57 30-18 o r +43/664/103 24 23 (mobile)
Office of Environmental Law
Telephones: +593/62/881633 or +593/99/688937