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In Ecuador, police occupy UNE offices in Quito and Guayaquil after PSI-EI-TUCA mission leaves the country

30 August 2016
In the early morning of 29 August, the police occupied the offices of the teachers’ union, UNE, in Quito and Guayaquil. On 25 August, a trade union mission visited the country to express solidarity with the union, which the Ministry of Education has threatened to dissolve.

At 5am on 29 August, police officers accompanied by public prosecution service officers and members of the Winding-Up Commission appointed by the Ministry of Education violently entered UNE offices in Quito and Guayaquil and confiscated documents and computers.

At 11.30 am, the police again ransacked the Quito office and violently evicted everyone in the office, including women and children. 

On 25 August, an international trade union mission comprising representatives of the PSI, Education International (EI) and the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), led by the Subregional Secretary of the PSI’s Andean Region, Juan Diego Gomez, made an emergency visit to Ecuador to express their solidarity with UNE after the Ministry of Education issued a resolution dissolving the country’s most representative teachers’ union and making arrangements to wind-up the union’s affairs.

The mission wrote to the Minister of Education (see here for a copy of the letter in Spanish) asking him to:

  • Form a committee to conduct a dialogue between the UNE and the government, with advice and support from international organisations and technical support from the ILO;
  • Suspend implementation of the resolution dissolving and winding up the UNE and conduct a joint review of the observations and recommendations made by ILO supervisory bodies.

The Inter-American Platform for Human Rights, Democracy and Development (PIDHDD) also wrote to the minister (see here for a copy of the letter in Spanish).

Rosana Palacios, National President, UNE:

 

 Guillermo Estrella, Treasurer, UNE:

 

Verónica Montúfar, from PSI:

 Video of the police’s arrival filmed from the Guayaquil UNE office:


Photos of the ransacking of the Quito office: 

 

Also see