BY MERCEDES ALVARO
QUITO, Ecuador—Ecuador closed a nongovernment organization focusing on environmental issues Wednesday after accusing it of interfering in political events.
Ecuador’s Interior Ministry said the NGO, known as Fundacion Pachamama, was “affecting the public peace.”
The government alleged that Fundacion Pachamama was involved in a disturbance last week against members of foreign diplomatic delegations during protests against a licensing round for oil properties. President Rafael Correa accused Pachamama and another group, Yasunidos, of attacking Chile’s ambassador in Ecuador, Juan Pablo Lira.
Pachamama officials deny the allegations.
“We are peaceful,” said Joke Baert, a Pachamama spokeswoman. “We defend human rights, and we have never promoted or supported violence. The government should carry out a deep investigation.”
Mario Melo, a lawyer for Pachamama, said the NGO is analyzing the government’s decision as well as a response.