Human rightsUN’s Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has treated the restrictions on freedom of expression and efforts to control NGOs and recommended that Ecuador should stop the criminal sanctions for the expression of opinions, and delay in implementing judicial reforms. Ecuador rejected the recommendation on decriminalization of libel.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) President Correa has intimidated journalists and subjected them to "public denunciation and retaliatory litigation". The sentences to journalists have been years of imprisonment and millions of dollars of compensation, even though defendants have been pardoned. Correa has stated he was only seeking a retraction for slanderous statements.
According to HRW, Correa's government has weakened the freedom of press and independence of the judicial system. In Ecuador's current judicial system, judges are selected in a contest of merits, rather than government appointments. However, the process of selection has been criticized as biased and subjective. In particular, the final interview is said to be given "excessive weighing." Judges and prosecutors that have made decisions in favor of Correa in his lawsuits have received permanent posts, while others with better assessment grades have been rejected.
The laws also forbid articles and media messages that could favor or disfavor some political message or candidate. In the first half of 2012, twenty private TV or radio stations were closed down.
In July 2012 the officials warned the judges that they would be sanctioned and possibly dismissed if they allowed the citizens to appeal to the protection of their constitutional rights against the state.
People engaging in public protests against environmental and other issues are prosecuted for "terrorism and sabotage", which may lead to an eight-year prison sentence.
Human Rights Watch has been criticized for bias on its reports on Ecuador.
A dark shadow has been cast over the international climate talks in Lima, Peru – as the body of an indigenous leader opposed to a major mining project in Ecuador was recently found bound and buried. The Guardian reports that José Isidro Tendetza Antún, the former vice-president of the Shuar Federation of Zamora, had been missing since 28 November, after he was last seen heading to meet some people protesting against the Mirador copper and gold mine. After his son Jorge got a tip, his body was found in a grave marked “No Name,” with arms and legs tied by a blue rope. Tendetza was planning to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently underway in Lima, Peru. ecuador, mine, mining, mirador, gold, copper, shuar, Tendetza, peru, lima, climate, change, conference The Guardian notes that Tendetza was offered bribes and had his crops burned in an effort to get him to leave the area. Domingo Ankuash, a Shuar leader added there were signs Tendetza was beaten and tortured. “His body was beaten, bones were broke,” Ankuash told The Guardian. “He had been tortured and he was thrown in the river. The mere fact that they buried him before telling us, the family, is suspicious.” Related: NASA discovers massive methane cloud over Southwest caused by coal mining The Shuar people are the original inhabitants of a large part of Southern Ecuador, and are Ecuador’s second-largest indigenous group. Tendetza was a major critic of the open pit Mirador copper and gold mine owned by Ecuacorriente, a company originally owned by Canadians that was later sold to Chinese conglomerate, CCRC-Tongguan Investment. According to the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Ecuador, the mine will devastate about 450,000 acres of Ecuadorian forest.