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Fugitives said to abandon Ecuador reservation

May 2, 2014

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — An Ecuadorean indigenous leader says three critics of President Rafael Correa who sought refuge in a fiercely independent Amazon community have departed the settlement rather than imperil it.

The three men — former national lawmaker Clever Jimenez, and aide and a doctor — were all convicted of criminally defaming Correa and sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 18 months. They exhausted their appeals last month.

Kichwa regional leader Nelson Calapucha tells The Associated Press that the three departed Sarayaku on Wednesday night. He said he didn’t know their whereabouts and wouldn’t reveal them if he did.

Sarayaku won fame among indigenous communities in the Americas for successfully resisting oil drilling on its traditional lands. Its victory was upheld by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2012.

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