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It also ruled that the Armed Forces will only mobilize together with the Police in justified operations and will respect citizens' right to protest peacefully.
Ecuador's Constitutional Court (CC) limited the application and scope of the "Emergency State," which President Guillermo Lasso decreed on Oct.18 with the alleged objective of halting violence related to drug trafficking activities.
"The state of emergency gave the military free rein to suppress anti-government mobilizations. Therefore, we thank the Constitutional Court for guaranteeing the Ecuadorean people's human rights and well-being," Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) President Leonidas Iza stated.
According to the Constitutional Court's mandate, the emergency state should only be applied for 30 days in the provinces of El Oro, Guayas, Santa Elena, Manabi, Los Rios, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo de Los Tsachilas, Pichincha, and Sucumbios.
Judges also determined that the Armed Forces will only mobilize together with the Police in justified operations, and all military institutions will respect the right of citizens to peaceful social protest.
"The military will be liable for any abuse of their powers during a state of emergency. The Ombudsman Office will monitor their actions and will open judicial investigations if it verifies any violations of citizens' rights,” they warned.
At the end of the emergency state, Lasso must send a report to the Constitutional Court specifying what measures were implemented to overcome criminal violence and strengthen the domestic security system. If the case the President wants to prolong the emergency state, he must justify its necessity before the Constitutional Court through proper arguments and data. Otherwise, such an extension would not be admissible.
“We must ensure that the rule of law is upheld in our country and that human rights prevailed amidst difficult situations,” Iza concluded.
#Ecuador is experiencing a tense situation amid protests to reject the measures that President Guillermo Lasso seeks to impose and in repudiation of his implication in the Pandora Papers. pic.twitter.com/k2av4iaGUa