Ecuador Protests in Support of Jailed Indigenous Leaders

QUITO — Hundreds of voices chanting “Libertad! Libertad! Libertad!” in unison marched through 6 de Diciembre, a principal street of Quito, Ecuador, Monday morning to express their opposition to the arrest and imprisonment of indigenous Shuar leaders Pepe Acacho, Fidel Kaniras, and Pedro Mashian.

The march was organized by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), and began in Quito’s Arbolito park and ended in front of the Corte Provincial de Justicia of Pichincha. Organizers said it was held to support the habeus corpus appeal of Acacho, Kaniras, and Mashian in the hearing scheduled for 10:20am.

Acacho was arrested between Macas and Sucúa in the southern province of Morona Santiago on January 31, 2011, and taken to Quito’s ex-penal Garcia Moreno prison. Acacho is charged with terrorism, sabotage, and the death of Shuar professor Bosco Wisuma during protests that took place in September of 2009.

The court suspended the hearing, rescheduling it for Tuesday morning.

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