Ecuador's Interior Ministry accuses Fundacion Pachamama of interfering in political events, and says the NGO was "affecting the public peace." The government alleged Fundacion Pachamama of being involved in a disturbance last week involving members of foreign diplomatic delegations during protests against a licensing round for oil properties.
Pachamama officials deny the allegations. "We are peaceful," said Joke Baert, a Pachamama spokeswoman. "We defend human rights and we have never promoted or supported violence."
Fundacion Pachamama works to defend the human rights of indigenous people in the Amazon. The NGO organises Cine Amazónico, a traveling film festival focusing on the rights of the inhabitants of the Amazon region. The festivals screens films that would otherwise remain unseen, films that cause debate and can even lead to protests. Convinced of the non-violent character of the festival, Movies that Matter has supported this festival, which started late October and is scheduled to be traveling for a few months along seven major cities in Ecuador.
Faced with the forced closure, the NGO declares not to waive their right to defend rights, and to dispute the unlawful decision by all legal means at their disposal.