Back to top
15 February 2018

Statement in Solidarity with Patricia Gualinga and Indigenous Earth Defenders

Front Line Defenders has signed onto the following letter in solidarity with human rights defender Patricia Gualinga and other Indigenous rights defenders to authorities in Ecuador.

To Ecuadorian Authorities:

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are supporters and allies of Patricia Gualinga, her community of Sarayaku, and the broader Ecuadorian Amazonian indigenous movement. We have worked with Patricia for decades and are extremely concerned by the attack on her house and the death threats she received on the night of January 5th, 2018. Since then we have been monitoring the response and investigation by local and federal authorities and are dismayed by the results.

Download the Letter

We are concerned that the local police were extremely slow to respond and that the investigation has not appeared to yield concrete results. Beyond measures to protect Patricia from further attacks, we believe the most effective protection would be to identify the perpetrators and to hold them accountable for their actions, attacking the impunity of these threats at the source.

We want to make clear that our concern is not only for Patricia Gualinga but also for the numerous other indigenous women and men who have also suffered threats, attacks, criminalization, and murder. We support the #AmnistiaPrimero movement to end criminalization of indigenous leaders for their peaceful activism.

Regarding Patricia Gualinga’s case, we join our voices in:

  • Calling on the Minister of Interior and Ombudsman to implement protection measures to safeguard the integrity of Patricia Gualinga and her family that are in consultation with her and in accordance with her wishes;
  • Urging the Minister of Interior to publicly recognize her legitimate work, and the work of all people who defend rights related to land, territory and the environment;
  • Calling on the Attorney General to promptly and thoroughly investigate the attack, make the results public so far they found and bring the material and intellectual perpetrators to justice.

Amazon Watch Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director
Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA)
Global Witness
Front Line Defenders
The Global Fund for Women
Urgent Action Fund Latin America - Fondo de Acción Urgente America Latina
y el Caribe
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and
Liberation (IPMSDL)
Idle No More SF Bay
Movement Rights
Cultural Survival
Suzanne Benally, Executive Director
Indigenous Environmental Network Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director
Rainforest Action Network
Acción Ecologica
Cecilia Cherrez, President
Pachamama Alliance Bill Twist, President
Fundación Pachamama Belen Paez, President
Greenpeace USA Annie Leonard, Executive Director
International Union For The Conservation of Nature, National Committee of The Netherlands Christine Lain, Coordinator
Sierra Club Sarah Hodgdon, National Program Director and Susana Reyes, VP for Conservation, BOD
Small Planet Institute Anna Lappé, Founder
Honor the Earth Tara Houska (Anishinaabe), National Campaigns Director
Climate Justice Alliance Angela Adrar, Executive Director
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator/Executive Director
GenderCC Women for Climate Justice Board of Directors and Steering Committee
Reacción Climática Bolivia Carmen Capriles, Director
The Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty Pennie Opal Plant
Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas, North Region Rosalee Gonzalez, Co-Coordinator
Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) Bridget Burns & Emma Illick-Frank
Sakhalin Environment Watch, Russia Dmitry Lisitsyn, Chairman
Save Narmada Movement and National Alliance of Peoples' Movements Medha Patkar
Fundación para Estudio e Investigation de la Mujer (FEIM de Argentina) Mabel Bianco, President
The African Women's Network for Community Management of Forests (REFACOF) Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet
Campaign for Peace & Democracy, Manipur Dr. Malem Ningthouja
Kentucky Environmental Foundation Craig Williams, Program Director
AIDB, Burundi Severin Sinsizera, Coordinator of National Program
Melina Laboucan-Massimo David Suzuki Foundation Fellow, Lubicon Solar, Canada
Sally Ranney Chairman & Co-Founder, Earth Restoration Alliance, President & Co-Founder, AREI American Renewable Energy Institute
Thilmeeza Hussain Voice of Women Maldives

Goldman Environmental Prize Recipients:
Ignace Schop, Director/President EUROPARC Federation, Goldman Prize Recipient & Ashoka Fellow
Bobby Peek, GroundWork & Goldman Prize Recipient of 1998 for Africa
Prafulla Samantara, Goldman Prize Recipien for India
Randall Arauz, Goldman Prize Recipient 2010 for Central and South America
Oscar Rivas and Elías Díaz Peña, Goldman Prize Recipients for Paraguay
Laila Iskandar Kamel, Goldman Environmental Prize Recipient 1994 for Africa
Desmond Mathew D’Sa, Goldman Environmental Prize Recipient for Africa
Howard Wood, Goldman Recipient 2015 for Europe
Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, Goldman Prize Recipient
Heffa Schuecking, Goldman Prize Recipient 1994, Director of Urgewald, Germany
Von Hernandez, Goldman Prize Recipient 2003
Malgorzata Gorska, Goldman Prize Recipient 2010 for Europe