Washington — In response to the Ecuadorian government’s efforts to dissolve the Union Nacional de Educadores (UNE), the country’s largest teachers union, for participating in meetings with international human rights organizations, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The dissolution of UNE represents a brazen attempt on the part of the Correa administration to intimidate civil society organizations and undermine freedom of speech,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America. “The government of Ecuador should immediately reverse its decision and ensure that the UNE and other unions and civil society organizations can continue to freely advocate for fundamental freedoms.”
On July 21, the Ecuadorian government began the process of dissolving the UNE after the union’s president, Rosalia Palacio, participated in meetings with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Palacios described violations of educators’ rights. The Education Minister notified the UNE of the government order by letter, asserting the UNE had violated Article 22 of Executive Decree 739, which grants the government broad grounds for dissolving civil society organizations.