Mary Zamora, a leader of the Ecuador Teachers Union has been freed on appeal. She had been jailed for eight years for purportedly libelling the President Rafael Correa in 2010. She was jailed for 'sabotage and terrorism' under laws dating from the era of military dictatorship, which sought to persecute and outlaw social protest.Teachers are jubilant at her release and insist that she was always innocent. Now however the justice system has agreed with that judgement.

When Correa came to power it was with the support of the labour movement. Initially he brought in policies which were progressive and broke with the neo-liberal attacks of the previous administration, for example he legislated for accessibility to public education for all children. However more recently he has been attacking the labour movement by restricting the rights of public sector workers to collective bargaining and freedom of association. In particular he has been at loggerheads with the teachers, failing to listen to their proposals for improving education and instead introducing punitive and meaningless evaluation systems.

To read more about the background to this case, follow the links in this