Grave concern for Dr. Manuela Lavinas Picq

UPDATE 8/18/15: Yahoo News reports that Dr. Picq won’t be deported from Ecuador, following a judge’s ruling on Monday. Many thanks to APSA members, sections, Committee on Professional Ethics, Rights and Freedoms for highlighting the issue and helping us move quickly.


Download the APSA Statement #ManuelaPicq @ManuelaPicq

APSA_4C_logo-300Honorable President Rafael Correa Delgado
Palacio de Carondelet
Plaza Grande
Quito, Ecuador

August 17, 2015

Mr. President,

On behalf of the American Political Science Association, we write to express our grave concern for Dr. Manuela Lavinas Picq, a respected scholar and teacher at the University of San Francisco de Quito. Absent any further information, we write to urge you to ensure Dr. Picq’s physical well-being while in custody, access to medical care and legal counsel, and the reinstatement of her visa status to remain in Ecuador.

The American Political Science Association is a scholarly association which represents more than 13,000 U.S. and internationally-based professors and students of political science, including many in Ecuador. Dr. Picq is a writer and scholar of international relations whose research focuses on indigenous communities, through feminist international relations perspectives, which has led her to further research on sexuality within indigenous communities.

We understand from news media reports that Dr. Picq was at a demonstration in Quito on Thursday, August 13, 2015, and that around 9:00pm, Dr. Picq was arrested along with indigenous rights leaders and her life partner. We further understand from media reports that Dr. Picq received treatment at Eugenio Espejo hospital, and that Dr. Picq’s visa has subsequently been cancelled and she now faces deportation.

We would welcome any additional (or contrary) information you might share which will help us to understand the situation more fully. Absent this, the facts as described appear to indicate that Dr. Picq was assaulted and is being charged as a result of expressive activity, conduct which is clearly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Ecuador is a signatory.

We urge you to ensure that Dr. Picq receives a fair opportunity to address any charges before an impartial tribunal, that any charges or convictions related to her academic activities are lifted, and that in the interim, her case is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial and detention.


Rodney E. Hero
American Political Science Association

Steven Rathgeb Smith
Executive Director
American Political Science Association

Jennifer Hochschild
American Political Science Association

The Honorable John F. Kerry
United States Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520, USA

Roberta Jacobson
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520, USA

The Honorable Francisco Borja Cevallos
Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States
2535 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 234-7200
Fax: (202) 333-2893

The Honorable Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado
Ambassador of Brazil to the United States
3006 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: +1 (202) 238-2700
Fax: +1 (202) 238-2827

The Honorable Adam E. Namm
United States Ambassador to Ecuador
QUITO (E) Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro
Telephone: 011-593-2-398-5000
Fax: 011-593-2-398-1000


  1. En lugar de estar preocupados por el bienestar (garantizado por cierto por la justicia de nuestro país) de una persona que rompe las leyes del Ecuador y participa en una marcha violenta para derrocar a nuestro gobierno legítimamente elegido por la mayoría de los ecuatorianos, deberían hacer llamado a los ciudadanos extranjeros a abstenerse de ser parte de la conspiración golpista. La visa de esta golpista debe ser revocada y extraditada del país inmediatamente. Tenemos suficientes problemas con nuestros propios vendepatrias como para aupar a los que conspiran contra la democracia de otros países hermanos. Qué vergüenza!!

  2. According to Ecuadorean news reports, Professor Picq had a Cultural Exchange visa (12-VIII) that was due to expire on August 26. This type of visa is valid for one year and renewable. There are no reports that her visa was in process for renewal; however, the Cultural Exchange visa was cancelled by the Ministry of the Interior and Professor Picq left Ecuador yesterday. This event should be a moment of reflection for all academic professionals residing on any type of visa status anywhere in the world.

    However, for Ecuador specifically, there are reports of Ecuadorean citizens arrested, held in prison without charges or adequate representation as their widespread and organized demonstrations meet local and military police. The basis for the recent protests by Ecuadorean indigenous communities and the police response to those protests merit closer examination.

  3. La visa de esta señora era intercambio con fines politicos..y menos para despues una gran lucradora con el cuento de medioambiente..y revistas busca donantes de dinerito..

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