Information on the participation of bandits or thugs in forcible evictions of indigenous people from their land, or in violence against those who resist eviction [ECU18580.E]

The information that follows adds to that provided in Responses to Information Requests ECU16956.E of 13 May 1994, ECU18233.E of 1 September 1994 and ECU18615.E of 29 September 1994, all available at your Regional Documentation Centre.

The information in the next two paragraphs is an unofficial summarized translation of information published in Derechos del Pueblo (July 1994, 7), a magazine produced by the Ecumenic Commission of Human Rights in Ecuador (CEDHU).

Since July 1993 some 50 impoverished families in Manabí underwent four evictions. On 23 October 1993 a number of dynamite explosions occurred in their settlement, causing a woman to suffer a miscarriage. The most recent eviction took place on 1 June 1994, with the participation of the Third Penal Judge of Manabí, policemen and hooded men (not further identified in the available report). According to the source, 40 homes were toppled and burned, crops were destroyed, several people were detained and children were mistreated. A president of the settlers association stated that his organization's housing project is being hampered by large businesses that want to develop a tourist resort.

On 14 March 1994, after inhabiting and working a piece of land known as El Vainillo, 40 families had their homes burned and their crops destroyed by an engineer and 60 policemen. The engineer represented two firms claiming to own the land, despite a 1993 technical survey stating that the families owned it. The peasants rebuilt their homes but were evicted again on 13 April by approximately 160 persons, including soldiers, policemen and civilians (not identified further). The engineer assured the families that they would be allowed to retain 100 of the 570 hectares of El Vainillo.

In page seven of its January 1994 issue, Derechos del Pueblo provides general statistics for rural land conflicts. The source states that 14 peasant or indigenous communities or associations suffered different abuses while defending their land or territory in 1993. In 1992 the number of communities or associations affected was 43, and in 1991 it was 68.

Please find attached a report from the Andean Commission of Jurists Andean Newsletter, which reports the death of an indigenous Ecuadorean "in a confusing incident in the second day of protests carried out by indigenous groups and campesinos against a new Agrarian Law" (June 1994, 4). The report states that "according to some versions, the 24 year-old Ecuadorean was shot by a driver who was going to break through [a] barricade," while "according [to] the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Luis Macas, he was murdered by the 'paramilitaries of the landholders,' who were also responsible for wounding three others" (ibid.).

The attachments to Response to Information Request ECU18579.E of 5 October 1994 provide additional information on land conflicts in Ecuador from May through September 1994.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Andean Newsletter [Lima]. June 1994. No. 91. "Protestor Dies in Demonstration."

Derechos del Pueblo [Quito]. July 1994. "Recientes Atropellos a Derechos Humanos: Desalojos."

. January 1994. "Violación de Derechos Humanos, Ecuador 1993."


Andean Newsletter [Lima]. June 1994. No. 91. "Protestor Dies in Demonstration," p. 4.