Rights of Nature Tribunal
Elsie Monge presents her judge’s ruling on the Defenders of Nature case in Rights of Nature Tribunal in Quito Ecuador on January 17, 2014.
Elsie Monge is Vice-President, Executive Director of the Ecumenical Human Rights Commission (CEDHU). She is an Ecuadorian educator and Emeritus Professor at the Andine Simon Bolivar University
Distinctions: Valdivia” award from the National Assembly and “Manuela Cañizares” award from the Municipal Council of the City of Quito in 2003; elected “Woman of the Year” by theVistazo review in 2005.
Activist and nun, Sister Elsie Monge was born in Quito and grew up in Guayaquil. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Education and Sociology from Rogers College in the United States, she studied social anthropology, the history of civilizations and cultural anthropology. In 1954 she entered Maryknoll missionary congregation.
Elsie Monge was first sent to Guatemala and Panama to work with Indians and peasants. In the 1970s she returned to Ecuador and worked with black residents in the Chota Valley. After teaching for several years she published literacy-learning and human rights awareness manuals and helped write several books on human rights.
Since 1981, Elsie Monge has been managing the Ecumenical Human Rights Commission. In her fight against impunity and for respect of indigenous communities, she has denounced the mining industry and paved the way to the release of 700 environmental activists.
From 2007 to 2010, she was President of the Truth Commission whose purpose was to investigate abuses of human rights committed by the State of Ecuador between 1984 and 1988, and delivered a report in 2009.
In June 2009, she joined FIDH during a visit to Peru, subsequent to the violent events that took place in Bagua province in the Amazon region. Elsie Monge is the co-founder of the Ecuador Front for Human Rightsand was elected FIDH Vice President at the 38th FIDH Congress, in Istanbul in May 2013.