DEFENDERS UNDER THREAT
We are calling on Ecuador’s President and Ombudsman to guarantee the safety of human rights defenders with urgency
Across the Amazon, rights defenders are under attack for their activism in support of Indigenous rights and rainforest protection
This reality is now hitting us at home: Amazon Frontlines’ staff lawyer Lina María Espinosa is in imminent danger, having received death threats in response to her work to defend Indigenous rights and the right to protest.
Throughout the region, rights defenders face intimidation, threats, harassment, prosecution and even murder for confronting those who abuse power, including extractive companies, public officials, and members of the public force.
Your action today can help keep Lina María and other rights defenders safe. We demand an investigation to stop the threats to Lina María’s life and are calling on Ecuador’s President and Ombudsman to guarantee the safety of human rights defenders with urgency, and to end the systematic violation of their rights and the threats to their lives.
Will you add your voice?
To the President of the Republic of Ecuador and the Ombudsman's Office:
We, concerned citizens of the world, write to express our deep concern regarding the death threats against Lina María Espinosa, a human rights defender based in Ecuador and staff lawyer of Amazon Frontlines, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to defend Indigenous rights to land, life and cultural survival in the Amazon rainforest.
In the face of these threats, we call upon the Ecuadorian State to provide special and reinforced protection for human rights defenders, and to fulfill its obligation to safeguard their lives, their rights and their vital work.
Send a Tweet to President Lasso and the Ombudsman’s Office
Calling for the immediate protection of human rights defenders in Ecuador!
About Lina Maria Espinosa
Lina María Espinosa is a Colombian attorney and human rights defender based in Ecuador. She has been working as a lawyer with Amazon Frontlines for the past six years, during which she has litigated emblematic lawsuits on behalf of Indigenous peoples threatened by extractive industries in the Amazon rainforest. Her fearless work has led to groundbreaking rulings in cases including the Waorani’s win against Big Oil in 2019 and the A’i Cofan’s victory against mining in 2018.
As part of her work with Amazon Frontlines, Maria provides on-the-ground legal and technical accompaniment to Indigenous peoples in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru in their self-determination, governance, and territorial rights processes and mechanisms including the formation of Indigenous guards. She has also led various capacity-building programs for dozens of human rights defenders and community leaders across the Amazon region. Lina María is a founding member of Ecuador’s Alliance of Human Rights, a human rights coalition conformed of fifteen organizations including Amazon Frontlines.
"Maria is being threatened because her activism challenges powerful interests that are hell-bent on upending Indigenous cultures and profiting from our territories. An attack against her is an attack against all of us who fight to defend Mother Earth." Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani Leader & 2020 Goldman Prize Winner.
“As human rights defenders, we face many risks to our lives. We call upon the Ecuadorian State to protect Maria and the lives of all those fighting for justice.” Alex Lucitante, A’i Cofan Leader & 2022 Goldman Prize Winner.
AFrontlines @AFrontlines Aug 03 14:49 2022
🚨Human rights defender under threat! 🚨@afrontlines staff lawyer @lmespinosav has received death threats for her work protecting Indigenous peoples’ right to protest in EcuadorWe demand @LassoGuillermo act immediately to protect the lives of rights defenders ✊
AFrontlines @AFrontlines jul 28 17:14 2022
#Ecuador: @lmespinosav , defensora de #DDHH y abogada de @AFrontlines , ha denunciado estigmatización y amenazas de muerte por defender derechos de pueblos indígenas. Gobierno de @LassoGuillermo debe garantizar su vida e integridad y @FiscaliaEcuador identificar a responsables.
AFrontlines @AFrontlines Aug 02 17:43 2022
Human Rights Defenders are at risk in Ecuador!@AFrontlines Lawyer @lmespinosav is facing death threats for her work in defense of #IndigenousRightsWe demand that @LassoGuillermo 's gov't take immediate action to protect the lives of Rights Defenders!
AFrontlines @AFrontlines Jul 28 17:44 2022
In Ecuador, @AFrontlines ' Lawyer & Human Rights Defender @lmespinosav is facing grave threats against her life for her work in defense of Indigenous people's rights.We demand immediate action @LassoGuillermo + @FiscaliaEcuador !