Political Science Now

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

Honorable 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