Letter to Ecuavisa

Sep 29, 2015

Gentlemen of Ecuavisa:

On Sunday September 20 —precisely International Freethought Day— during the Ecuador’s Got Talent show you that your channel broadcast in prime time, three of the four judges publicly humiliated a 16 years old participant named Carolina Peña after she answered openly that she does not believe in God. In this way, her fundamental rights to freedom of conscience were violated. This situation not only configures a highly condemnable fact from the moral standpoint, but also a religiously motivated discrimination crime.

The Republic of Ecuador has signed and ratified before the UN theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which, in its Article 2, paragraph 1, states that “Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.

The issue at hand is specifically addressed in General Comment No. 22 — General Comments adopted by the Committee of Human Rights, Article 18 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion, 48th session, UN Doc. HRI / GEN / 1 / Rev.7 at 179 (1993). Paragraph 2 of Article 18 protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. The terms ‘belief’ and ‘religion’ should be broadly construed, as said Article does not limit its application to traditional religions or to religions and beliefs with traits or religious practices similar to those of traditional religions. In this regard, the Committee is concerned about any kind of tendency to discriminate against any religion or belief, including the most recently established ones, or the ones that represent religious minorities that may be the object of hostility by a predominant religious community.

In turn, it is important to note that the demonstrations of the three judges —aggravated by the abuse of power— violate the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in its Principle 10: “The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination […]”.

Today, in the 21st century, not believing in (any) God is, for a large segment of society, synonymous with a long list of negative stereotypes that often translate into acts of intolerance, discrimination and humiliation. Thus, it is common to hear atheists are incomplete people, immature, that we lack love and are unable to govern our own lives in the absence of supernatural beliefs, as they told Carolina while millions of people were watching. However, the reality is very different: although many people do not accept it, we atheists are not just humans —with hopes, concerns and personal and collective dreams— like everyone else, but we are also relatives, friends or acquaintances of the believers. It should be added that about 11% of Latin Americans identify as non-believers and that figure is growing.

By virtue of these reasons, the organizations of atheists, agnostics, humanists and freethinkers from different Latin American countries stand with Carolina Peña and express our strongest condemnation of the actions taken by the ladies María Fernanda Ríos, Wendy Veraand Paola Farías, as they contribute to perpetuate stereotypes, promote intolerance and incite discrimination.

Therefore, we demand that the three judges apologize immediately and publicly, with the same media impact that the public offense took place. Were this apology not to happen on equal terms, we will understand that such actions were endorsed by Ecuavisa and represent their views. We also consider it appropriate that the three ladies are separated from the show in order to avoid reprisals against Carolina Peña and future discriminatory acts towards other participants.

Without further ado, the undersigned organizations send their regards:

Asociación Internacional del LibrePensamiento (AILP)
Agnósticos y Ateos de Panamá
Apostasía Colectiva Argentina
Apostasía Colectiva Uruguay
Asociación Antioqueña de Librepensadores, Agnósticos y Ateos—Colombia
Asociación Civil Ateos Mar del Plata—Argentina)
Asociacion Civil 20 de Setiembre por el Librepensamiento, la Tolerancia y el Humanismo de Uruguay
Asociación de Ateos de Bogotá—Colombia)
Asociación de Ateos y Agnósticos del Atlántico—Colombia
Asociación Guatemalteca de Humanistas Seculares
Asociación Librepensamiento Honduras
Asociación Peruana de Ateos (APERAT)
Asociacion Uruguaya del Libre Pensamiento (AULP)
Ateos y Librepensadores Mexicanos Asociación civil
Bogotá Atea—Colombia
Centro Cultural “Valentín Letelier”—Chile.
Coalición Argentina por un Estado Laico (CAEL)
Congreso Nacional de Ateísmo de Argentina
Círculo Escéptico—Uruguay
Cusco Ateo—Perú
Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason
Fundación Sociedad Atea de Chile
Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation—Poland
Liga Humanista Secular do Brasil (LiHS)
Sociedad Atea Venezolana
Sociedad Secular y Humanista del Perú


This letter was translated by Ðavid Osorio. You can read the original and more on his blog by clicking the name of the source below.

26 comments on “Letter to Ecuavisa

  • @OP – during the Ecuador’s Got Talent show you that your channel broadcast in prime time, three of the four judges publicly humiliated a 16 years old participant named Carolina Peña after she answered openly that she does not believe in God.

    South America has been infested with theocracy, ever since the inquisition persecuted the indigenous peoples into being dominated by the very persistent curse of Catholicism! Bigotry and ignorance are likely to persist for some time, – especially among the media air-head “celebrities”!

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  • Make the judges listen to about twenty four hours worth of award speeches by entertainers who want to “thank god for giving me the talent and inspiration…”

    They’ll crack.

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  • It baffles me when people try to browbeat others into believing a delusion. I simply don’t understand how anyone can make claims without any evidence and not look like a fool.

    When ever I have been asked what my religion is and I say none of the above, they get this perplexed look on their face and then they act as if I said I have terminal cancer… they are devoid from logical thinking when it comes to gods .

    I wonder if they ever wonder why gods have not killed all the atheists… maybe god is more satisfied killing believers so he can have martyrs.

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  • Henry
    Sep 30, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    This is disgusting. What does religious belief have to do with talent?

    It has very little to do with talent, but a great deal to do with the denominational “nepotism” and discrimination surrounding the deluded self-important elite in theocracies!

    . . . . never mind the talent!! . . . . Are the contestants “good” Catholics???

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  • The United States President acknowledges and gives time to ‘guy smiley’ the new Pope, who gets to address both houses of Congress. Theocracy is everywhere.

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  • dvbivs
    Oct 1, 2015 at 4:20 am

    The United States President acknowledges and gives time to ‘guy smiley’ the new Pope, who gets to address both houses of Congress. Theocracy is everywhere.

    Theocracy is delusion with little of merit to say – but then if we look at the speeches of some of the politicians present, it is probably in keeping with the usual “intellectual” standards and levels of integrity!

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  • It is a very sad state of affairs that the world is so brainwashed and closed minded when it comes to these topics. There are far more important things that humanity should be focusing on notably climate change and its impact on all of us in the coming decades. This is truly a sad state for our humanity and at this point I hold little hope that we will ever evolve fast enough to face the enormous life challenges that most certainly will threaten all life on the planet especially modern humans.

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  • This is such a waste of time are we really going to achieve anything here , it happened in an open forum there were global witnesses and will anything be done about it i would say not , look everybody is guilty at some time of ignoring someones rights either in the home office or where ever , lets just string them up and be done with it . This truly saddens me that we spend any amount of time getting heated up over Bs , like they say sticks and stones will brake your bones but names will never hurt you , the right to freedom of speech also gives them as stupid as it appears , the same right to comment . GUYS come on , get on with what you do best and leave all the name calling to the idiots . get over it , its that simple , when is the next ship leaving for mars i would very much like to book a ticket . Be happy if it is at all possible cheers .

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  • Could not agree with you less!!

    Without going into detail, ‘my people’ have been saying the same thing for 50 years and when things come about and they get shafted, they act surprised. Register your interest early.

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  • A truer word has never been said , i am totally gob smacked even though having gone to a christian high school , why on earth are we even wasting our time on this dribble , it was put forward by another that as common sense prevails that reason and logic and education should have cleared up anything about the invisible man in the sky routine , i said i drive to work and every day i pass a very large sign and it points out that if 60 to 80% of city children could could not read or write would you lend a hand . nice and simple now that tells me that a very large proportion of our indigenous population can’t read or write , so how on earth are they going to use a laptop or do they even care , In trying to be honest are we that arrogant in assuming that everyone is operating on the same frequency or even on the same page . It staggers me that day in and day out we are prepared to make these quantum leap decisions for other people . If Pasteur had not stumbled across penicillin we might not have even made it this far . God help us if he is even at home or listening . cheers and good health to you and your family .

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  • You must have far to much time on your hands , this dribble will go around for a long time and it will still be going around long after i am dead , if that’s the best we can do then we are all doomed .

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  • Not the best peter, just one of. I also feel we have a duty to this sixteen year old. How alone must she feel. She must be intelligent to not fall for the god crap but she is just sixteen. Who knows, she might even read this forum. Just the thought that she is getting some comfort from fellow atheists makes me happy. You said be happy.

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  • look everybody is guilty at some time of ignoring someones rights either in the home office or where ever

    And when people are found “ignoring someones rights”, they should be called out.

    It is ridiculous to imply that one should not speak out against bigotry, oppression and bad ideas because “everybody is guilty at some time”. If we all subscribed to this mentality, we would get nowhere as a society — we wouldn’t have been able to develop the methodologies and technologies that may eventually culminate in the “ship to Mars” you so desperately want to board. We would be stuck in the dark ages, afraid to contradict another’s moronic assertions because we may be accused of being hypocritical. Good ideas and ideals would drown in a sea of ignorance.

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  • 18
    Pinball1970 says:

    Olgun posted “I also feel we have a duty to this sixteen year old. How alone must she feel”

    I could not agree more, if we simply ignore these sorts of attacks and insults no matter how small and especially ones aimed at children, these idiotic bullies will think they can get away with it.

    They are not trivial.

    Imagine if an atheist Dr refused to treat a Muslim?
    Imagine if atheist hoteliers refused rooms to Mormons?
    Imagine if an atheist talent show judge poked fun at a contestant for wearing a kippah or crucifix?

    We put up with their demands to respect their different brands of primitive tribalism every day, let’s see some apologies and then some two way traffic going forward.

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  • 19
    Pinball1970 says:

    Olgun posted “She must be intelligent to not fall for the god crap but she is just sixteen.”

    Yes smart and brave, it took me a lot longer than that to ditch it.

    Let’s see the judges who ridiculed her and who are so keen to defend god, have a debate with someone like RD, Laurence Krauss or Matt Dilahunty.

    They will know what public humiliation really feels like.

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  • I have just watched this whole sorry episode on YouTube and I am deeply disgusted by the way this poor young girl was treated. The puffed up self-important women who ganged up on her are nothing but bigoted bullies. I’ll be curious to see if there is any official apology from them. I won’t be holding my breath.

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  • zula
    Oct 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Primitive tribalism? Religion was never a primitive tribe, it’s only a couple thousand years old!

    You are talking about a particular (Christian?) religion here.
    It is likely that there are religions going back around ten thousand years or more!

    Egyptian gods and priests: from 3000 BChttp://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab32

    . . . . . . . . .

    Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/gobekli-tepe/mann-text

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