Indigenous and community leaders faced spurious criminal charges. Those responsible for human rights violations continued to evade justice.
Six police officers were found guilty in July of crimes against state security following police protests over pay cuts in September 2010. In May President Correa narrowly won a 10-question referendum, which included a proposal to reform the judicial system as well as to regulate the media.
In February, an Ecuadorian court fined the oil company Chevron US$18 billion for widespread contamination of the Amazon basin. An appeal by Chevron was pending at the end of the year.Top of page
Indigenous leaders and community members continued to face spurious charges of sabotage, terrorism, murder and illegal obstruction of roads for alleged crimes committed in the context of demonstrations against extractive industries.
In July, human rights defender Marlon Lozano Yulán, a member of Land and Life Union which works with rural communities on land issues, died in Guayaquil after being shot by two unidentified assailants travelling on a motorbike. He had received threats prior to his murder. By the end of the year, no progress had been reported in the investigations into this attack.
On 25 November, Monica Chuji, an Indigenous leader and former minister, was sentenced to one year in prison and a fine for slander for criticizing the government in the press. However, following a public outcry, she was pardoned by the government and her case was archived, removing the opportunity for her to appeal the decision.Top of page
In his report published in May, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions expressed concern about impunity in cases of killings and abuses by police, hired gunmen and rural juntas, as well as illegal armed groups and the military in the area bordering Colombia.
Curbs on freedom of expression included the use of criminal defamation charges against journalists critical of the government or local officials.