Conservation International does NOT Respect Human Rights in Ecuador

Alfredo Luna, an Ecuadorian biologist, was working as part of Conservation International’s research team when his plane crashed in Ecuador on August 3, 1993.

The team was set up for conducting Rapid Assessment Projects (RAPs) in Ecuador, including the cordillera of El Condor in the Amazon region, the Arenillas Reserve and the Cordillera of Chongon y Colonche in the coast. In the accident that occurred in Loma Alta, at the Cordillera de Chongón, four people died including Ted Parker and All Gentry—two of the most renowned biologists in the world. Alfredo was one of the only two survivors.

To protect the scientific team for medical and accidental risks, Conservation International (CI) had an insurance policy that proved to be insufficient for covering all the people involved in the Ecuador research team. After the accident it became known that the policy only covered team members from the United States and did not cover death or disability insurance for Ecuadorean team members.

Alfredo Luna barely survived the accident. He suffered significant vision and hearing loss; brain damage, which caused epilepsy; and progressive degeneration of the hip caused by a necropsy. Since the accident, he has been dependent on costly medicines that he must take for the rest of his life. However, the only cost that was covered by CI’s insurance policy was the emergency treatment in a hospital in the United States.

As a result of Alfredo’s poor health conditions after the accident, he is considered legally disabled and therefore unable to work in his profession. CI provided death insurance to US team members only. Alfredo Luna, an Ecuadorian citizen, was left behind. He did not receive any disability insurance, which would have covered at least some of his periodic medical expenses.
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