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Freddy Díaz

HRD, President
Community Front for the Defence of the Water and Life of Las Naves

Freddy Díaz is a human rights defender and since 2019 is the President of the Community Front for the Defence of the Water and Life of Las Naves (Frente Cantonal por la Defensa del Agua y la Vida de Las Naves). During the last 16 years, he has worked in the defence of water, the conservation of life and the protection of nature in Las Naves, province of Bolívar, Ecuador, from the potential effects of mining companies in the territory, where Curimining mining company, subsidiary of Canadian companies Adventus Mining Corporation and Salazar Resources Corporation, is going to start the phase of mineral exploitation.

Due to his work of defence, Freddy Díaz has received threats and harassment by actors linked to the mining companies. Now, the defender has been criminalized, being condemned to prison in March of 2024 for the crime of illicit association despite the lack of solid evidence against him, which has limited his work and affected him at a public and private level.

Human rights defenders have been victims of a wide range of violations in Ecuador, such as police brutality, judicial harassment, arbitrary detentions, smear campaigns, threats, harassment and the oppression of indigenous and campesino communities. Recent incidents have shown that the situation for human rights defenders in Ecuador is precarious. Throughout the month of August 2015 thousands of people gathered in different parts of the country to protest against President Correa's proposed amendments to the constitution that would allow him to run for re-election indefinitely. During this demonstration, many HRDs were detained and beaten by the police.