UN Special Rapporteur Margaret Satterthwaite expressed in a recent analysis her concern about the violent attacks and intimidation on justice officials, including judges, prosecutors and civil servants, as well as judicial buildings in Ecuador.
These events, she said, have become more worrisome following the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio during a campaign event in Quito on August 9.
The threats appear to be especially directed at those dealing with organized crime and corruption cases, the report by the New York University law professor said.
The attacks undermine the independence of the judicial system, while directly impacting the work of judges and prosecutors as they struggle to ensure the rule of law, she added.
They also violate the fundamental guarantees and freedoms of victims when officials must have the security necessary to carry out their work.
Satterthwaite urged Ecuadorian authorities to ensure that these conditions for the proper functioning of the judiciary are preserved.
In 2022 and 2023, four prosecutors were assassinated and several judicial officials have been subjected to intimidation and threats, while several criminal judges survived physical attacks and assassination attempts.
During that period, several judicial facilities received bomb threats.
In the Manabí region alone, 13 attacks and threats against judicial officials were recorded.