Ecuador Appeases Thugs Yet Again
Update Report from the Sea Shepherd research ship Farley Mowat
Baltra Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Once again the violent mob wins a concession from the Ecuadorian government.
After a six day siege and occupation of Galapagos National Park offices, the striking fishermen left the Park on the morning of June 7.
They did not leave because the authorities removed them. They left after the Ecuadorian Minister of the Environment agreed to come to the Galapagos to meet with them and to discuss their demands.
This was one of the demands of the mob that the Minister come to the Galapagos and meet with them and the Minister has agreed. The Minister will arrive on Friday, June 11.
The fishermen have threatened to retake the National Park offices again on Friday if the Minister does not give into their demands.
These demands are:
- 1. No restrictions, and no quota on the Sea Cucumber fishery.
2. The lifting of restrictions on prohibitive areas like Fernandina Island and the Baltra Channel.
3. The resignations of some of the Park staff for enforcing regulations.
These are impossible demands yet the history of this issue has illustrated that the government has capitulated each and every time to the demands of the fishermen in response to violent attacks on National Park property.
This conflict is now seriously hurting the economy of the Galapagos. Major tour companies have cancelled trips and some have cancelled reservations as far ahead as 2005.
Threats of violence and the inability of the Ecuadorian government to maintain law and order have provoked real concerns for safety for people traveling to and touring the Galapagos.
The Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat and her crew arrived on the island of Baltra on the morning of June 7 to refuel.
The Port Captain of Santa Cruz had ordered the Farley Mowat to depart from the Galapagos on the evening of June 6 after the crew landed on the beaches at the National Park headquarters to check into the safety of the hundreds of tortoises in the tortoise breeding facility.
Twenty-four hours later, the Farley Mowat remains in the Galapagos.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is asking that people write, fax, or e-mail the Ecuadorian government through the embassies in their countries and demand that the government stand up to the mob of violent thugs terrorizing the Galapagos.
Presidente de la Republica del Ecuador
|Consulate of Ecuador USA
2535 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
Tel: (202) 234-7166
Fax: (202) 667-3482
|Embassy of Ecuador UK
Flat 3, 3 Hans Crescent
London SW1X 0LS
Tel: +44 (0)20 75842648
Fax: +44 (0)20 78239701
|Consulate of Ecuador
50 O'Conner Street, Ste. #113
Ottawa ON K1P6L2
Tel: (613) 563-8206
Fax: (613) 235-5776