Communique #1 – Ecuador Indymedia Journos Victims of Arbitrary Arrest
Quito - Ecuador
Tuesday 6th of May 2008, between 10 and 12 at night, Francisco Jaramillo, Carlos Andrade, Santiago Cadena, Diana Cabascango of Indymedia Ecuador, were arrested.
Public Prosecutor Doctor Francisco Noboa led the raid. Said prosecutor refused to inform the lawyers of those arrested why they were detained, did not want to report which judge would see the case, did not show the raid and arrest warrant. These facts make it a crime of conscience, that is to say, a politically motivated detention. The detainees were active critics of the system's abuses of power and human rights. Items seized from their homes included computers, documents, and political posters.
This act is in violation of article 24(4) of the Constitution, which states:
Every person, upon being detained, will have the right to know in clear form the reasons for their detention, the identity of the authority that ordered it, that of the agents that carry it out, and that of those responsible for the respective interrogation.
For this reason INREDH (Regional Foundation of Advice on Human Rights) will lodge a complaint against the prosecutor.
The police did not allow lawyers to interview the detainees.
This arbitrary arrest is being reported to international organisations like Amnesty International, International Federation of Human Rights, World Organisation Against Torture, and Interamerican Human Rights Commission.
We demand that the detainees are allowed to communicate, to know the reasons for arrest, that the Public Prosecutor and Police officials are sanctioned for violation of the human rights of the detainees, and if there are no charges then they are released immediately.
We ask the public to be remain aware of this apparent attack on the freedom of expression in our country.
Further information: Comunicación INREDH
Amanda Trujillo: 2526365 / 088994039
Ana Cristina Vera: 096200423
Communique #2 – Ecuador Indymedia Journos Victims of Arbitrary Arrest
Indymedia Ecuador 08-05-2008
Further to the events of Tuesday 6th May, we can inform you that four of the five detained were freed today after suffering a long interrogation and psychological harassment
We want to report the terror tactics used against each of those arrested:
More information: http://www.ecuador.indymedia.org/es/2008/05/25124.shtml
Three of the journalists were on their way to the Independent Communication Conference taking place in Peru as part of the Peoples Summit (counter summit to NAFTA, EU CAN), they were arrested in a spectacular GIR (an elite national Police group) and Interpol operation, they were intercepted at the station about to start their journey.
Two homes were raided and computers, documents, books, posters, cassettes and cd´s were taken away for investigation, which added to the psychological harassment of their interrogation.
As mentioned in the previous communique, they were all unable to communicate while they were interrogated all night without the presence of a lawyer, the motive for the arrests and raids are still unknown.
According to our sources, Interpol investigations and home raids of everyone else of Indymedia Ecuador will continue.
We want to tell Interpol that we are not international criminals - the criminals who plundered our country are in Miami, we are not terrorists – the terrorist is UriBush; we are not organised criminals – those are the bankers; we don't traffick drugs, we don't traffick arms – the arms corporations, the hawks of the war in Iraq do that; we don't traffick people, we don't launder money, we don't produce child pornography – we produce artistic documentaries of socio environmental conflicts, political and cultural events; we don't perpetrate economic crimes – the IMF, the World Bank, the US, and Cuba do that; and we are not corrupt – that is the Law.
We see this operation as an imperial terrorist shock tactic to silence and terrify collectives, activists, social organisations, urban movements, whoever is constantly critical of the established system, the status quo, exploitation, the impoverishment of war, injustice.
It is opportune to ask ourselves if Bush's anti-terrorist crusade is also being applied in our country by way of an autonomous power? And what kind of deal does our country have with Interpol?
We appreciate the solidarity demonstrations which made the fast release of our comrades possible, and also the active participation of human rights organisations like INREDH.
We are all indymedia (((i)))
Communique #3 – Arbitrary Detention of Ecuador Indymedia Journos
Indymedia Ecuador 08-05-2008
Those of us who make Indymedia Ecuador ratify the accusation of police persecution against our independent communications collective, as evident in the imprisonment of our comrade Guillermo Lion Garcia Aristizabal, nicknamed as Antonio, accused by Interpol of using a false document. We firmly reject the violent operation against us on the night of May 6th, which was done without proof of the accusations and included the raid of two of the comrades' homes by more than forty ski-masked GIR police and Interpol agents armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, guns, and gas, who seized, isolated, and physically and psychologically mistreated the five comrades. We think it is absurd to use military special forces methods to take comrades for investigation, and we demand the government urgently clarifies the facts. We see a total incompatibility between the police actions and the ethical principals of democratic government, and we find it hard to believe that government minister Fernando Bustamente has ordered an operation that could be considered as an act of State terrorism. As we understand it, Interpol's intervention in our country would be illegal without the authorisation of said minister. Or could it be that GIR means Grupo Independiente de Represión?
Find out about the Peoples' Conference in Lima Peru: http://www.movimientos.org/ea3/
Besides the violation of due process, the human rights of our comrades were also violated: two of them were taken handcuffed and ski-masked and separated from the other three, they beat them, threatened them with death, carried them off in a police vehicle to the house they had raided first without telling them. The first house raided is in Miraflores and the second in el valle de Tumbaco, approximately 40km away from each other. In both homes things like like CDs, posters, flyers, computer hard disks, cassettes, books were taken away, and many neighbours were terrified. The police report recorded books about Che Guevara, the life of the priest Camilo Torres, and other Latin American political people and processes, as 'subversive evidence'? Perhaps Ecuador's police still think and act as they did during the authoritarian State of Lucio Gutiérrez? It is important to mention that we have been the object of observation and monitoring by intelligence organisations for the last few months. We consider the persecution against us, and specifically against our comrade Guillermo, corresponds to a witch hunt by the Ecuadorian police which seems to comply to orders from higher authorities like the CIA and Interpol, in the context of criminalisation of social protest and the legitimisation of the 'war on terror' established by the US government.
In the current latinamerican climate, and in specific the recent important events between Ecuador and Colombia, that caused a rupture in diplomatic relations between the two countries, and the pronouncement in defence of Ecuadorian Sovereignty by the Rio Group and OEA, we think the raids, the imprisonment, the violence against us corresponds to the US and Colombias' intent to legitimise their armed intervention in our country to involve us in Plan Colombia, for which reason they intend to persecute every rebellious anti-imperialist demonstration in the world by branding it 'terrorist'.
Indymedia is a global network of independent and alternative information via the internet formed in Seattle in 1999 during the protests against the WTO. It is a counter-information alternative within the so-called anti-globalisation movement, opposing neoliberal globalisation and the global dictatorship of transnational companies, and aspires to break the big private media monopoly that defends the interests of powerful economic groups. In Ecuador, Indymedia was born in 2002 during a camp-out at Salesiana University against Plan Colombia and the FTAA. We are a completely self-managed collective of social media activists, and to cover the protests and the demands of the social movements we have organised a series of public events like independent cinema shows, meetings, video forums, debates, etc.
Comrade Guillermo detained in the provisional detention centre (CDP) is a militant social media activist, same as the rest of the collective, and has been linked to social movements since his youth, he was a student leader in Colombia, his country, which he was forced to leave, because as we all know in Colombia one lives under an authoritarian pseudo-democratic regime of permanent persecution and aggression against the integrity and life of the people involved in social struggles. Guillermo is an independent journalist, a comrade who has participated in our country in the coverage of forums, discussions, marches, debates, sit-ins, student conferences. He is a person deeply committed to the peoples' fight for social justice, equality, and participatory democracy, an honest friend, respectful, supportive, an anti-imperialist comrade with hope for profound democratic changes in Latin America.
We demand Guillermo's immediate release, and the return of everything confiscated. We repeat our demand to the Government Minister to clarify and explain, to investigate and determine who is responsible for the persecution, the violation of legal process, and the violation of human rights, and tell us where the order came from for this over-the-top, unjustifiable operation.
We appreciate the solidarity of all the movements, collectives, and individuals. We are social media activists and part of the struggle for freedom, for a fairer world, without exploitation, a world with social justice, without hunger or wars. We are all Indymedia (((i)))