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Ecuador: Brutal persecution of teacher unionists is worsening

published 2 November 2016 updated 4 November 2016

Rosana Palacios, President of the National Union of Educators (UNE), has been threatened with criminal prosecution and prohibited from speaking in the name of her union.

Meeting on 22 October, the  union's National Executive Committee agreed to continue the struggle to overturn the government's spurious campaign to dissolve the education union. In a statement, UNE says that " the defence of secular, plurinational public education and the rights of teachers is our obligation."

Union offices in the provinces have been ransacked and occupied and the government is renting out some for profit. Union bank accounts have been shut down and teachers are at risk if they have contact with UNE union officials.

The ILO director, Guy Ryder, has written to the minister of education expressing serious concern at the dissolution of UNE and other actions against the more than 50-year old trade union.

UNE is appealing the dissolution and has taken the case to the Constitutional Court.  However, UNE considers that two of the three judges are political appointments, who may not act in an impartial and independent manner. If the case is denied,  UNE plans to appeal to theNational Court of Justice.

Writing to Education International, Rosana appealed to education unions around the world to show solidarity and if possible, to provide funds for their legal defence.