Human rights protesters interrupt Correa during speech in Switzerland
Former president Rafael Correa was interrupted repeatedly by protesters as he delivered a speech Tuesday at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Chanting protesters hoisted a banner in the back of the assembly hall reading: “Rafael Correa: Violator of human rights. Violator of nature’s rights.”
Correa was participating in a symposium titled “The Development of a Political Process.” The event had been promoted on social media by the Eloy Alfaro Institute of Political and Economic Thought, an organization created by the Ecuadorian political party Alianza País.
Protesters distributed brochures in the audience listing Correa’s alleged “crimes” against free speech, free assembly and the rights of indigenous people. The brochure, in French, also claimed the former president had caused “an environmental catastrophe in the Amazon jungle.”
The brochure called Correa a “reactionary masquerading as a political progressive.”
Before police arrived, protesters and members of the audience engaged in a loud shouting match as Correa stood quietly by his podium.
Demonstrators, who were removed from the assembly hall, shouted that Correa has “sold out” Ecuador and its environment to Chinese corporate interests. “Shame on you,” they shouted.