CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION
HAS TO PULL OUT FROM ECUADOR
Conservation International, CI, the environmental NGO has to leave Ecuador because of failing to fulfill human rights protection resolutions and various administrative obligations from the Ecuadorian State. On August 22, 2011, a Resolution from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ruled that CI has to leave Ecuador as a result of its stubborn refusal to fulfill two human rights protection resolutions dated on 2001 and 2010 from the Ecuadorian Ombudsman, and because the state authorization to work in Ecuador expired five years ago.
The human rights protection resolutions that CI has refused to comply with are related to the reparation costs that this organization has to pay Alfredo Luna. Alfredo is the Ecuadorian Biologist hurt in the tragic 1993 air crash in Ecuador, in which the famed scientists Alwyn Gentry and Ted Parker died. As part of a CI´s scientific mission RAP (Rapid Assessment Program), Luna, Gentry, Parker and other environmentalists were flying over a natural area, when their plane crashed in the coastal region of Ecuador. Four people died in the accident in which Luna survived. But Luna´s survival came at a very steep cost, including a severely damaged hip (which now is in a necrosis process), hearing loss in his left ear, and as a result of the brain injuries, he is now also epileptic, among other physical impairments that severely limit his normal life. After the accident Luna was unable to continue working on on-the-ground field environmental activities. The injuries were severe enough that he is now legally recognized as being handicapped. To control the epilepsy seizures, the hip necrosis, and other health conditions caused by the air accident, Alfredo must take several medicines daily for the rest of his life, and will have to have medical treatments, rehabilitation, and surgeries to avoid an accelerated damage of his hip.
Although first aid expenses were paid for, CI denied Luna both accident and life insurance compensation. Moreover, soon after the accident, Russell Mittermeier, CI´s President, sent a letter to Alfredo Luna offering to pay his disability compensation, but this offer was never honored. Once it was clear that CI was not going to accept its economic responsibility, Alfredo filed a complaint against that NGO, to the Ecuadorian Ombudsman. In 2001a resolution of the Ecuadorian Ombudsman called “measures of mandatory and immediate compliance to assure the protection of human rights”, and ruled that CI has to compensate Luna for the health problems and incapacity suffered after the air accident. However, the international NGO has systematically refused to pay any compensation and instead lobbied with governmental officials to avoid such obligation. The aforementioned human rights resolution was ratified in 2010.
In addition to the failure of fulfilling the measures of mandatory and immediate compliance in Alfredo Luna´s case, CI has failed for five years to renew the agreement that authorizes this organization to work in Ecuador. On April 6, 2001, CI signed an agreement with the Ecuadorian government to work in the country for five years. This agreement expired on April 6, 2006, and since that date has not been renewed .
Because of the above, on August 22nd, after 10 years of unreasonable refusal to comply with measures of mandatory and immediate compliance for protecting Alfredo´s human rights (and more than 18 years after the air crash), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered CI to cease its activities in Ecuador.
Find attached is the resolution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- For more information on Alfredo Luna´s case, see: http://www.derecho-ambiental.org/Derecho/Foro-Derecho-Socio-Ambiental.html
- Some pictures of the accident and the victims, can be seen at: http://www.derecho-ambiental.org/Derecho/Fotos_Ecuador/Fotos-Ecuador-Cordillera-Condor-7.html and http://www.derecho-ambiental.org/Derecho/Fotos_Ecuador/Fotos-Ecuador-Cordillera-Condor-8.html
Entrevista realizada a Alfredo Luna en la ciudad de Cuenca Ecuador, el 23 de Junio de 2011 por parte de Radio Mundo Real.
El verdadero rostro de lo que hacen las ONG’s llamadas ambientalistas en América Latina y el mundo. El uso corrupto de su gigante poder económico y político.