According to the Ecuadorian Constitution, conservation of biological diversity is expressly regarded as a matter of public interest. In addition, the Constitution calls for a constitutional duty on the State to protect its natural heritage. These provisions are mandatory for the Judicial System.

Based upon these arguments, Sea Shepherd and other conservation groups will file a legal brief that includes a request for the judge to deny the defendant’s bail petition. To do so, the constitutional right of access to justice, as well as rights to nature, will be invoked.

For the case to succeed, the defendant must remain in the Galapagos Islands in order to respond to charges and to exercise his right to due process. The iguana case is a very important one, and it is an opportunity for the Judicial System to send a clear message to the world that attempts to extract endangered wildlife from Galapagos will not be tolerated. We, therefore, call for judges to carefully analyze the petition and to issue a decision that will honor the status of Galapagos as a World Natural Heritage site.

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