Ecuador News

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.

Former president Rafael Correa

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.

  • Michael Berger

    Correa’s crimes against humanity in the areas of free speech, free assembly, and the rights of indigenous people are well known. What is not well known are his crimes against other essential human rights like the right to privacy, the right to defend oneself and one’s family, the right to enjoy the fruits of one’s own labor, the right of one’s children to recieve an inheritance, the right of men and women over their own bodies to choose whether or not to use drugs, whether or not to vaccinate, homeschooling, and many other rights.

    Although I enjoyed reading about this criminal being shouted down what we really need to do is focus on fixing the damage he did becuase most of the aforementioned human rights violations are still being commited today.

    Like with Jorge Glas, our primary objective should be to defeat what Correa stands for rather than defeating him personally. Americans should understand this better than anybody. The person of George W. Bush was defeated in 2008 but his so called “Patriot Act”, and his endless wars against Arab countries, and his torturing of people without trial at Guantanimo bay were all continued and expanded during the 8 years of Barack Hussein Obama.

    • Karen Lynn Kennedy

      What needs to happen first is a criminal conviction of Jorge Glas and all his mob and that all of them get sent to jail. That won’t fix all the damage, but it is a start, and will send a clear message that corruption will no longer be tolerated. I wish I didn’t have the feeling that my last statement is just wishful thinking….

    • StillAlive

      How can the people down at the gringo cafe by the escalinata be disciples of the Dalai Lama, concerned about human rights in Tibet and supporters of Correa at the same time? It is not reconcilable. We had too many expats looking to just fit in, acting as guests, being influenced by bloggers and Facebook groups dedicated to fluff pieces and Minnesota niceness.

      • Michael Berger

        It’s what you get when you mix virtue signaling with Stockholm syndrome; truth be told they don’t care any more about the people in Tibet then today’s so called Feminists care about women in Saudi Arabia.

        Now, I have a question for you, if you were around during the 60’s or 70’s. Do you think todays virtue signaling Liberals were once, anti-war, anti-torture, pro free speech, and caring about equal rights for women everywhere or was it always just virtue signaling?

        • StillAlive

          “Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values done primarily with the intent of enhancing standing within a social group. ”

          Interesting comment. I hadn’t heard that term before, but there is definitely a lot of pressure placed on expats to comply with a certain point of view, and this may explain why expats who voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976 could have cared less when Correa mocked him in 2012, for having co-signed a letter asking Correa to respect freedom of expression in Ecuador.

          https://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/inter_american-democratic-charter-022412.html

  • Steffen Thiemeier

    … Sorry Michael I have to start a discussion here Michael.

    – You claim as a human right to defend oneself and one’s family… If the legal possession of fire arms is what you want… I am happy that it is not allowed in the most countries of the world. I have to correct you, it is not a human right to carry a gun, it is only put down as an amendment in the US constitution, if I recall correctly. There is a correlation between deaths by bullets in the population and distribution of fire arms in a country ;-).

    – Also there is no human right to enjoy the fruits of one’s own labor. There needs to be an overall acceptance, that taxes are important to countries and governments. Tax avoiders, and tax fraud have to be fought as then everybody can enjoy the fruits of one’s own labor.

    – to receive inheritance is also not a human right contrary to your claim. The general question in this area is how much accumulation of money, capital thus power does a country or society allow. From my own experience a fair redistribution of money and capital between the 1% and the 99% does not really harm the 1% and helps the 99% a lot.

    – on vaccination there is less doubt than on climate change, that it helps. To disallow the vaccination of the own kids is more near to a willful body injury than to a careful parenting

    – homeschooling is not a human rights either. Most of the time, homeschooling is only asked by people who do not get well along with common sense and do not have a scientifically founded world view. If parents want to teach their children something in addition to the public schools they are always free to do so…

    All your accusations of your “human rights” violations are standard laws all over the world except the USA. I know that for some US citizens it is hard to obey to laws of other countries or societies, but it is also the natural right of any country to set the rules about how to live together.
    As a guest you need to accept that and obey otherwise your send home.

    What Correa tried was to meet international standards in education, security, health care and regulation. This was all ment for the benefit of the Ecuadorians. He did it with a lot of engagement and with some questionable orders.

    I will not judge on Correa and what he violated in Ecuador. In case he committed crimes the judges will take care of it.

    Similarly all of us (foreign or not) Barack Obama had to obey the rules, the US society did put in place since centuries. Therefore he was not able to end Guantanamo, the wars and the torturing. He could have done better for sure in these cases. But he did a good job for my understanding

    What you are asking in a quite trumpistic way is the reversal to older regulations. This is exactly what Donald Trump is doing right now in the USA and time will tell what a desaster this will bring.

    I do not think this is wise, but i know It would be wise to think before writing…..

    Call out for the evolution of the given….. the citizen revolution

    • Michael Berger

      If I understand your position correctly you believe that the only human rights we deserve are those already identified and agreed upon by the majority of the world’s governments.

      If your position is that governments are so wise that they just happened to identify all of the rights we deserve and protect them for us then please explain how it could be that different governments identify different rights? If you believe that reality has any consistency then why would the views of counties like Saudi Arabia be so different when it comes to human rights than countries like England and Germany.

      I would argue that the human rights that we all deserve are determined by the nature of reality not the opinions of the top 1% that control the governments and multinational corporations. If you agree with the last sentence then I will respond to your other points but if not then I won’t waste my time; let me know.

      • Steffen Thiemeier

        I disagree that the human rights are the ones we all deserve and that they are determined by the nature of reality we are living in. I would argue human rights are the rights we all get by nature, automatically at, or even before the time of birth. We do not deserve them, we have them automatically.
        It would be a good start to get these inherited rights in place first before talking about the ones anyone deserves.
        You observed correctly, that they are not in place all over the world, not in Saudi Arabia and not to the full extend in UK or Germany, even. The deserving you mentioned is very personal and subjective. I personally deserve a billion dollars because of the circumstance I do not have it… would you call this my human right?

        As I do not agree with you opinion, and as I do not let myself extort in an argumentation, you should not waste a further minute….

        • Michael Berger

          I don’t think it’s a waste of time to talk to you Steffen, especially since we agree that the wealthiest and most powerful few cannot decide what rights others have.

          There is no such thing as a right to force others to pay you a Billion dollars or provide you with health care. The only way to do that is with the government sending tax collectors, backed up by men with guns, to steal money from some people and give it to others.

          In a world with only one person he or she would have unlimited rights. Once there is more than one person then the rights of each person must be limited so as to not infringe on the rights of another. As somebody once put it “your right to swing your fists ends where another’s face begins”.

          I agree that some taxes are necessary but any reasonable person would agree that if 100% of ones income were taxed they would be a slave 100%. They way I look at it if the total taxes one pays are over 50% of their gross income then they are more slave than free. Let me know if you disagree. When you consider hidden taxes such as the tax of inflation and permits and fees which are also taxes it is easy to have over 50% of your income going to taxes. Is the right to not be a slave a human right? I think so. Let’s not pretend that taxes are voluntary, I never agreed to have money I pay to the U.S. government go to torture people without trial in Guantanimo bay, fund endless wars against Arab countries, or bailout the AIG Insurance company rather than honest, hard working Americans who are upside down on their mortgages. These are not legitimate functions of government and taxes should only go to legitimate expenses that serve the common good not to serve companies like General Electric who was one of 18 multinational corporations that paid $0.00 in taxes for at least 8 consecutive years.

          https://www.cbsnews.com/news/meet-the-18-companies-that-paid-no-taxes-over-8-years/

          You seem to be one of those people who thinks the world would be better off without guns and there is a strong argument for that. In fact if the human race agreed unanimously to not have guns I’d be all for it. Unfortunately the reality is that the governments of the world don’t rule based on logic or ethics but by force. They are more than willing to send men with guns to kidnap anybody and put them in a cage even for the smallest violations to any of thousands of laws enacted on behalf of the banking elite and multinational corporations. Yes they start with a fine but if you don’t pay the fine, sooner or later you will have your property stolen or get thrown in a cage and if you resist the kidnapping or the theft then men with guns will try to kill you. From a moral and ethical standpoint I don’t understand why some people say that governments should have the right to bear arms even though they often use them for nefarious purposes like war but my wife can’t use a gun for honorable purposes like defending herself and our daughter from thieves and rapists.

          To be honest with you Steffen it is very much against women for you to insist that they only be able to defend themselves against bad men using the limited strength of their physical bodies. If a man catches my wife on the jogging trail his has a physical advantage even if both are unarmed. In reality rapists and thieves often use knives or guns when they attack a woman which makes the whole situation even more unfair. Of course it is criminal for a government to remove a woman’s right to defend herself and we should not be afraid to say so.

          The real question here Steffen is who owns you? Do you own yourself or are you owned by the banking elite? I can’t speak for you but as for me, I am mine.

  • Kevin Lichtman

    Correa was a bully…not such a terrible bully like Mao or Stalin, but an authoritarian obsessed with his own vanity, nevertheless. The Sabatino’s, the 100’s of photos in Carondolet Palace, endless travels abroad for accolades and honorarium. He didn’t murder and imprison political opponents like in Russia, Cuba or Venezuela, but he did trample on the rights of Ecuadaorians who dared to disagree or expose his faults.

    • doctor fuerte

      Met a classmate of Correa that he bullied in high school. 25-30 years later, when the guy returned from Chicago, Correa got the guy a job at the museum on the malecon in Guayaquil. I don’t know if he remembered bullying the guy and felt guilty or if he remembered the guy as a friend. Bullies tend to have false memories – that way their conscience doesn’t keep them awake at night. I am sure Trump has his own false memories. Once a bully, always a bully?