Ecuador shuts down 16 foreign NGOs: officials

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 06 2011 08:18 AM | Updated as of Aug 06 2011 04:18 PM

QUITO - Ecuador has ordered 16 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including Spanish Doctors Without Borders, to shut down their operations in the Latin American country, the government said Friday.

The government's Technical Secretary of International Cooperation (SETECI) announced the move after the groups failed to meet a government deadline for presenting reports to the government on their activities.
Besides Doctors Without Borders, NGOs from the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany, Britain, Argentina, Colombia, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, SETECI said in a statement.
"We do not want to expel any NGO, but the groups and the state must meet the obligations under previous agreements," she added.
Rosero said the government wanted to know more about the private and government funding the NGOs receive.
On June 25, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said some foreign NGOs act in complicity with rebel groups on the country's border with Colombia and are funded by right-wing movements in the United States that seek to destabilize his government.
"They are extreme right-wing NGOs that seek to replace governments to impose their policies, and if they cannot, they destabilize governments," he said.
In 2009, the government ordered the closure of Ecological Action, an environmental organization that spearheaded protests by Indians against mining interests.
In addition, the government has withdrawn the diplomatic immunity it extended to human rights NGOs helping Colombians displaced by violence, due to suspicion of dealings with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).