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Ecuador: Human rights defender, Pablo Fajardo stigmatized

On April 26, 2023, in the Ecuadorian National Assembly, the Minister of Energy and Mines of Ecuador accused the lawyer of the Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT), Pablo Fajardo Mendoza, of being an “international criminal”. The accusation was in relation to his defense of human rights, mainly of indigenous peoples and communities, against the impacts of oil company operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Contrary to its obligations to provide a safe environment for the defense of human rights, the Ecuadorian State continues to defame and stigmatize human rights defenders, especially those who oppose the impacts of oil industry operations and support climate justice.

Download a PDF of UA 47/23 below:

Here’s what you can do:

Write to the Ecuadorian President urging the government to:

  • Refrain from using expressions that stigmatize, insult or discredit Pablo Fajardo and the members of UDAPT, and guarantee their safety.
  • Guarantee that human rights defenders can carry out their work in a safe environment, and to publicly recognize the extreme importance of those who defend human rights and the environment in Ecuador, and thereby help to combat the current global climate crisis.

Write to:

Mr Guillermo Lasso

President of Ecuador

Palacio de Gobierno, García Moreno N10-43

entre Chile y Espejo, 170401

Quito, Ecuador

Email: atencionciudadana@presidencia.gob.ec


Twitter: @LassoGuillermo     

Salutation: Your Excellency:

And copy:

His Excellency Carlos Alberto Patricio JATIVA NARANJO


Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador

99 Bank Street, Suite 230

Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9

Tel: (613) 563-8206 Fax: (613) 235-5776

Email: eecucanada@cancilleria.gob.ec

Also send a copy to Canada’s Ambassador in Ecuador:

Ambassador Stephen Potter

Embassy of Canada in Ecuador

RGG7+CQR, Av. Río Amazonas,

Quito 170135, Ecuador

Email: stephen.potter@international.gc.ca

Other officials to target:

Minister of Mines and Energy: Fernando Santos Alvite

Email: atencion.ciudadano@energiayminas.gob.ec

Twitter: @RecNaturalesEC

Download the social media guidance for UA 47/23 below:


Pablo Fajardo Mendoza is an Ecuadorian lawyer and activist. Since 1993 he has been active in legal proceedings against the socio-environmental impacts of oil extraction in Lago Agrio (Sucumbíos, Amazonas). In this context, he has represented indigenous and peasant leaders and more than 33,000 people organized in the Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT).  Because of this work, Fajardo has been the target of repeated threats and intimidation. For this reason, in 2005, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued precautionary measures for Fajardo and his litigation team. He has also been listed as an “individual at risk” by Amazon Watch.

On April 26, 2023, Ecuador’s Minister of Energy and Mines accused defender Pablo Fajardo Mendoza of being an “international criminal” due to his leadership in several judicial processes against international oil corporations operating in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The minister made the accusations during his appearance at the 184th session of the Collective, Community and Intercultural Rights Commission of the Ecuadorian National Assembly. Previously, in an interview in the media “La Barra Espaciadora” the minister made comments meant to discredit the work of the legal enforceability of human rights carried out by Pablo Fajardo Mendoza.

Pablo Fajardo Mendoza is being stigmatized for his work in defense of Amazonian communities, as well as for all of his legal advocacy work against human rights violations caused by the oil industry in Ecuador, a fundamental aspect of climate justice.

The State must guarantee the protection of Pablo Fajardo and other members of the strategic litigation collective Unión de Afectados por Texaco (UDAPT) and put an end to the stigmatization of their actions in defense of the rights of communities affected by oil extraction.