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Ecuador: One Year Since the Detainment of ‘The 10 from Luluncoto’

March 3, 2013 marks one year since the Sol Rojo (Red Sun) operative was carried out, in which 10 Ecuadorian citizens accused of threatening the security of the State were detained.

As we reported earlier, “the 10 from Luluncoto” lost their freedom when they were on their way to debate the policies of the Ecuadorian government in a house in the south of Quito. The police found notebooks, diaries, posters of Che Guevara, and newspapers in their possession, which were considered subversive material.

Initially, 9 of the 10 received pre-trial detention, and Fadua Tapia, who was pregnant when the operative was carried out, was put under house arrest. At the end of 2012, the Ministry of the Interior [es] announced publicly that the evidence found confirmed subversive activity by the detainees, such as preparation for armed combat, handling firearms, a basic course in anatomy, a basic course in chemistry, physical military preparation and the preparation of a raid on facilities.

On December 19, 2012 the Habeas Corpus request was awarded [es] to 7 of the 10 detainees, and on January 4, 2013 the First Court of Constitutional Guarantees denied the Habeas Corpus request [es] of 2 of the detainees.

Last January 21 La República (The Republic) [es] published on its YouTube channel (LR larepublicaenlinea) [es] a report about the reopening of a hearing against the detainees:

Paulina Recalde (@PaulinaRecalde) [es] published an image on Twitter with public opinion statistics from Quito and Guayaquil about the case of the 10 from Luluncoto:

@PaulinaRecalde: Entre quienes conocen caso #Los10deLuluncoto, 60% uio/gye cree que tendrán derecho a defensa y juicio justo; 34% que no pic.twitter.com/530B324p

@PaulinaRecalde: Among those who know about #Los10deLuluncoto (the 10 from Luluncoto) case, 60% (average of Quito and Guayaquil) think that they will have the right to a defense and a fair trial; 34% do not pic.twitter.com/530B324p

Gráfica tomada del usuario de twitter @PaulinaRecalde

Graphic taken from Twitter user @PaulinaRecalde

Key to graph: Do you think that those accused in the “10 of Luluncoto” case will be guaranteed the right to a defense and a fair trial, yes or no? Dark blue: Yes, Purple: No, Yellow: Doesn't know, Light blue: Didn't answer

On February 13 another hearing of the case was resumed [es], and on the 26th of that same month El Telégrafo (The Telegraph) [es] reported that the judges of the Third Criminal Court of the National Court of Justice (CNJ) [es] ruled one year of prison for the 10 from Luluncoto, who were accused of attempted terrorism. The news was also made public by other media outlets, such as La Hora [es], El Mercurio [es], Teleamazonas [es] and La República [es[.

El Universo (The Universe) [es] reported that the 10 from Luluncoto were convicted because of article 160.1 [es] which says: “Those that, individually or as associations, as guerrillas, gangs or terrorist groups, commit crimes against the common security of the people will receive the punishment of definite incarceration lasting four to eight years”, a different level of criminal offense than the one that their lawyers defended them against for more than a month.

The lawyer and investigator of Human Rights, Adriana Rodríguez Caguana [es], published an open letter against the sentence of the 10 young people from Luluncoto [es] on Facebook, with the option of joining it by writing your first name, last name and profession. After the media published the sentence that was ordered against the accused, various reactions were seen under the hashtag #10deLuluncoto [es]:

Angelo Salazar (@an6elo) [es] made public his approval of the sentence:

@an6elo#10deluluncoto no tolerancia pa terroristas q explotan bombas en mi país e invitan al levantamientos EN ARMAS!! presos, presos!!1año es poco

@an6elo#10deluluncoto no tolerance for terrorists that set off bombs in my country and invite ARMED uprisings!! imprison them!!1year is little

Eliana Urquizo Lopez (@eliana810) [es], on the other hand, showed his disapproval:

@eliana810: Los #10deLuluncoto acusados de ser terroristas y los de #AlfaroVive [grupo armado ecuatoriano, que se autodenominaba de izquierda revolucionaria y marxista-leninista] trabajan en el gobierno. Que alguien me explique la lógica de esto.

@eliana810: The #10deLuluncoto are accused of being terrorists and those from #AlfaroVive [an Ecuadorian armed group [es], who called themselves revolutionary leftists and marxist-leninists] work in the government. Someone please explain this logic to me.

Pablo Piedra (@Pabloarturo81) [es] wrote his opinion about the case:

@Pabloarturo81: La sentencia a los #10deluluncoto busca proteger a los responsables del gobierno ante una futura demanda en el #SIDH [Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos] contra #Ecuador

@Pabloarturo81: The sentence of the #10deluluncoto is looking to protect those in the government who will be responsible when faced with a future suit by the #SIDH [Inter-American Human Rights System] against #Ecuador

Paola Criollo (@paocriolloa) [es] supports the 10 from Luluncoto:

@paocriolloa: Mi apoyo y solidaridad a los#10deLuluncoto xq somos ciudadanos comunes viviendo justicia sin derecho,justicia d peones.#ridiculogobiernoRC

@paocriolloa: My support and solidarity for the#10deLuluncoto because we are fellow citizens living with justice not based on the law,the justice of powerless servants.#ridiculogobiernoRC

The newspaper La Hora (The Hour) (@lahoraecuador) [es] published some photographs of the demonstration that took place in favor of the case of the 10 from Luluncoto:

@lahoraecuador: Familiares y amigos de Abigaíl Heras y Cristina Campaña, #10deLuluncoto, realizan plantón en la cárcel de mujeres.pic.twitter.com/BTQi954l2M

@lahoraecuador: Family and friends of Abigaíl Heras and Cristina Campaña, #10deLuluncoto, stage a demonstration at the women's jail.pic.twitter.com/BTQi954l2M

Photograph taken by Twitter user @lahoraecuador

The demonstration [es] took place outside the Inca women's jail in the north of Quito on March 3. Citizens have been watching the case closely, especially on social networks, and they await the timely liberation of Abigaíl Heras and Cristina Campaña, two of the accused that have already spent a year in jail.

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