Carta a Senadores, Inglés

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Carta a Senadores, Ingls

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<ul><li><p>CONCERNED ECUADORIAN-AMERICAN CITIZENS </p><p>Page 1 of 5 </p><p>47 East 10th Street Brooklyn, NY 11218 | 917 239-7529 695 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11221 | 11221 </p><p> Senator Patrick Leahy 437 Russell Senate Bldg United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 </p><p>Via Fax: 202-224-3479 </p><p>Via Email: senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov </p><p>May 14, 2012 </p><p>Dear Senator Leahy, </p><p>As Ecuadorian Americans we are addressing you in response to your recent delivery on the floor of the U.S. Senate concerning Ecuador. Those of us who are informed about the changes that are taking place under the administration of president Rafael Correa realize that it is becoming increasingly difficult for his opponents to deny the improvements in health, education, justice, security, infrastructure, public services, and the economy. These improvements were, in part, achieved by removing the influence that a monopoly of a select few business elites, media groups, and corrupt political overlords had over the governments decisions and direction. Now these groups are attempting to destabilize the Ecuadorian government by engaging in an international campaign of misinformation, and recruiting well intentioned Democratic senators and U.S. Government officials to voice their fallacious tales. </p><p>We agree that a free and independent press is fundamental to democracy. Indeed, a fair democracy should protect the rule of law and ensure that no person or group is above the law. In Ecuador, however, certain groups believed that their economic status and media power granted them privileges above the law. The libel case of president Correa against the editorial page editor of El Universo and its owners was one in over 12,000 libel cases in Ecuador (including several against the president himself). The inability of El Universo to support the grave accusations against president Correa of crimes against humanity led to a fair and just sentence. The decision was ratified in three instances, despite the relentless media lynching and documented public intimidations that El Universo staged against the judges and witnesses. </p><p>In Ecuador, freedom of expression is guaranteed under the constitution, as you point out, and it is further encouraged by president Correa every week. Senator Leahy, you may have heard from certain major U.S. media outlets nonsense like Obamas war on religion, the Muslim, Kenyan-born illegitimate president, health care death panels, socialist-Nazi-abortionist-un-American government, welfare-loving democrats, etc. We are sure you would agree that this does not constitute news, but rather politically motivated propaganda disguised as news in order to misinform and confuse the audience. However, unlike the situation in Ecuador, these media outlets do not affirm [yet] that president Obama committed a crime, or make other similar false accusations. In Ecuador, the six families that control the entire local private media do engage in that sort of propaganda, in addition to making direct and false accusations. They present facts selectively and out of context in order to manipulate the public opinion. That is not freedom of expression. It is a violation of public trust and the right of the people to receive true, fair and contextualized information. Currently, and for the past several years, not a single journalist, reporter or writer has been imprisoned in Ecuador. Not a single media outlet has been closed. Not a single piece has been censored by the government. </p><p>Contrary to your assertion, Ecuadorians are not proud of the countrys former democratic system and governments. Merely voting and rotating parties does not make a democracy. Ecuador had a perverse system that produced social exclusion to the majority, benefits to a small economic </p></li><li><p>CONCERNED ECUADORIAN-AMERICAN CITIZENS 47 East 10th Street Brooklyn, NY 11218 | 917 239-7529 695 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11221 | 11221 </p><p>elite, and encouraged corruption and impunity. With the new constitution, ratified by the people in 2008, that system is becoming a thing of the past. </p><p>The new progressive constitution includes a revolutionary framework that protects the environment. The responsible use and exploitation of natural resources was the objective of such framework. No informed report can assert that the new mining projects in Ecuador are destructive. Every country in the world, including the United States, will face protests when mining projects are announced. However, the law should be enforced when such protests include destruction of public and private property, blocking roads, attacking unarmed policemen, wounding police horses, and even killing innocent people. Contrary to your assertion, only a handful of people were charged by the state for those crimes, others were charged by private companies, but not in the numbers that were reported to you. </p><p>Perhaps your source did not convey to you accurately the specifics of the proposed electoral reform, but such reforms are intended to bring fairness to the electoral process. Similar to the Equal-time rule and the Fairness Doctrine here in the United States, the Ecuadorian Assembly attempts to regulate airtime so that all candidates have equal time and treatment on TV and radio. </p><p>Dr. Catalina Botero, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, part of the American Commission on Human Rights, of which the United States of America is not a signer, may have misled you. The surprisingly swift, and even preemptive, intervention of Dr. Botero in the case between president Correa and El Universo has raised serious concerns about the objectivity and real interests of the current Office of the Special Rapporteur. Fortunately, early this year the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States approved the recommendations presented by a group of nations, Ecuador among them. </p><p>The nation of Ecuador is going about its business of solidifying its own democratic institutions and reforming its own laws through its democratically elected legislators, based on its own realities. President Correas administration is taking ambitious steps toward modernizing the state in all areas, and democratizing the nations resources (spreading the wealth) for the benefit of all, and 82% of Ecuadorians support him in this effort. Senator Leahy, as Ecuadorian-Americans we feel that your unfounded attack against Ecuador is disheartening and harmful to Ecuadorians in the U.S. It stigmatizes our community, it implies that our support to the positive changes in our country of origin conflicts with the interests of our new home nation, and even with the liberal and progressive values that we share with Democrats like you. Respectfully, you may not claim to stand with the people of Ecuador by gratuitously attacking its legitimate president and democratic institutions. After decades of corruption, injustice, exclusion, social and political instability, the majority of Ecuadorians, in Ecuador and around the world, welcome the leadership and courage of President Rafael Correa. </p><p>Senator Leahy, we welcome you to learn more about Ecuador and its democratic process by visiting the country or meeting with members of the community and allow us to present you with the other side of the story. </p><p>Respectfully, </p><p> Jean-Paul Borja Victor William Villamar 47 E. 10th Street, NY 11218, (917) 239-7529 695 Knickerbocker Ave., NY 11221 PS. The original letter with additional pages with supporting original signatures will follow by mail.</p></li><li><p>CONCERNED ECUADORIAN-AMERICAN CITIZENS </p><p>Page 3 of 5 </p><p>47 East 10th Street Brooklyn, NY 11218 | 917 239-7529 695 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11221 | 11221 </p><p>My signature below is in support of the message set forth in the preceding letter to the U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy with respect to his recent statements about our country of origin, Ecuador: Name Signature City and State of Residence </p><p>Luis A. Puyol NYC, New York </p><p>Victor Barahona NYC, New York </p><p>Victor A. Barahona NYC, New York </p><p>Ingrid Bastidas NYC, New York </p><p>Edgar Carchi NYC, New York </p><p>Mayra Rivera NYC, New York </p><p>Rosa C. Villamar NYC, New York </p><p>Blanca Mendoza NYC, New York </p><p>Jos Chvez NYC, New York </p><p>Wilson J. Intriago NYC, New York </p><p>Eudulia N. Intriago NYC, New York </p><p>Mayra Intriago NYC, New York </p><p>Jenny Nader Miami, Florida </p></li><li><p>CONCERNED ECUADORIAN-AMERICAN CITIZENS 47 East 10th Street Brooklyn, NY 11218 | 917 239-7529 695 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11221 | 11221 </p><p>My signature below is in support of the message set forth in the preceding letter to the U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy with respect to his recent statements about our country of origin, Ecuador: Name Signature Address </p><p>Jenny Preis Miami, FL </p><p>Michele Intriago Los Angeles, California </p><p>Blanca Palomeque Sunnyside, NY </p><p>Carlos Salazar East Elmhurst, NY </p><p>Rafael Salinas Ridgewood, NY </p><p>Byron Paladines Woodside, NY </p><p>Daysi Paladines Woodside, NY </p><p>Hugo Rodriguez Astoria, NY </p><p>Julio Guilln Astoria, NY </p><p>Manuel Encalada Corona, NY </p><p>Roco Rojas Astoria, NY </p><p>Csar Palomeque Sunnyside, NY </p></li><li><p>CONCERNED ECUADORIAN-AMERICAN CITIZENS </p><p>Page 5 of 5 </p><p>47 East 10th Street Brooklyn, NY 11218 | 917 239-7529 695 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11221 | 11221 </p><p>My signature below is in support of the message set forth in the preceding letter to the U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy with respect to his recent statements about our country of origin, Ecuador: Name Signature Address </p><p>Carlos Hugo Gonzlez Sunnyside, NY </p><p>Henry Ynez Woodside, NY </p><p>Fernando Rojas West Palm Beach, FL </p><p>Brenda E. Rivera Queens, NY </p><p>Cinthya Carolina Rivera Queens, NY </p><p>Vernica Quito Teaneck, NJ </p><p>Klever R. Paladines Sunnyside, NY </p><p>Luis A. Snchez Astoria, NY </p><p>Glenda C. Carreara Astoria, NY </p><p>Dino Ral Domnguez Jamaica Estates, NY </p><p>Amrica Domnguez Jamaica Estates, NY </p></li></ul>