The criminalization of social protest has been one of the most common and "difficult" it has had to deal with the Public Defender (PD) in the last three years managing Fernando Gutierrez to lead this institution.
Gutierrez said yesterday that it has received more than 200 cases of persons who have committed offenses such as road closures, which is a form of nonviolent protest, but that the complaint with great force.
The principal felt that the protest should be tolerated "because most of these have not been violent."
After a brief overview of management, estimated that there is still much to do about the rights of individuals, so that "the country needs people to empower their rights. We advance, but not enough, "he said.
Currently, the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control (Cpccs) performs the contest to elect his successor. On the subject, Gutierrez added that the Ombudsman should be away from the branches of government, because they said one of the Paris Principles, to exercise control over officials.
He confirmed that one of the more complicated cases, because "nothing against the current and causes problems," is the criminalization of social protest. "All these cases are people who, although they had committed violations, these were small children, who must be tolerated by the state without incurring punishment."
He cited as an example for the rights of indigenous peoples. "It has various shades, because everyone knows the tensions between the leadership and the Government, with excesses of both sides. The protection of collective rights has gone up, except you have to do with oil drilling and mining. "
Gutierrez said the DP case is complicated because it has not been able to develop plans mediator.
Francisco Zambrano, representative of the Human Rights Committee of the Workers (Cedhus), argued that the criminalization of social protest, not only exists in Ecuador. "It"s in America and other countries in the world where successive governments have imprisoned those who demand respect for their rights from their various fields. This is bread every day in Ecuador today and in other states, "remarked the activist.
Thus said the first violator of the rights of the people is the state, "because it spreads the wealth and does not impart justice with fairness."
Zambrano said the 200 complaints that the defender Gutierrez speaks, are the show "clearer that the country seeks to criminalize those who demand respect for their rights."
Ask for improvements
The representative of Cedhus, Francisco Zambrano, required an amendment to the Law of the Ombudsman, to give authority to penalize and dismiss the officer who fell into an act of violation of human rights or corruption. "When a complaint against a judge or prosecutor is going to the Ombudsman, then dies, have to look at the example of countries like Mexico and Argentina.
An Interior Ministry official, said the portfolio of State can not issue an opinion on this topic.