Galapagos Strike Ends

On Sept. 27th, the Minister of the Environment, Fabian Valdivieso, made the decision to remove Fausto Cepeda as Director of the Galapagos National Park and appointed Victor Carrion as Interim Director.

The Minister said that he would send an official notice to international organizations that work in the Galapagos in order to restore their support.

The government will now initiate a process to define the qualifications required of the Park Director. The terms of contract of the Director will also be defined so that the stability of the position is guaranteed.

There will be a careful screening of all candidates, which come from a list of people recommended by those involved in the conservation of the islands.

Cepeda was criticized by the government for his role, along with Rogelio Guaycha, the deputy Congressman, in provoking violence in the Park last week.  Fernando Ortiz, a member of the Park staff, presented photographs that proved Cepeda had led the fishermen to the Park offices.

There was celebration in Puerto Ayora after the announcement was made. Park staff jumped for joy and embraced in the middle of the street.

Edgar Munoz, a spokesman for the Park, speaking in Quito, said that the Minister has guaranteed labor stability in the Park and a new budget to guarantee the hiring of staff next year.

Munoz said that today the work in the Park will resume. The park rangers are back to work and there is an agreement to pay them. Contracts will also be renewed.

Congratulations to the brave and dedicated Park staff who stood up for their Galapagos Islands.