QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - Ecuador's government has summarily shut down a nonprofit environmental group that opposes Amazon rainforest oil drilling, alleging that it incited abusive public behavior. It is the first such closure of an advocacy group by President Rafael Correa's government.
More than a dozen government agents shut down offices of the Pachamama Foundation Wednesday after arriving unannounced. Pachamama's director, Belen Paez, says the group did nothing illegal and will file a lawsuit in Ecuador and an appeal with the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights. She called the shutdown an arbitrary act of violence. The government accused Pachamama of inciting a small group of protesters who harassed Chile's ambassador and a Bielorussian businessman last week after they left a presentation on Amazon oil concessions. Paez denies that any Pachamama activists were involved.