Meeting in Washington last month, the Organization of American States (OAS) backed Ecuador in its struggle to provide asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange against the demands of the British government. The American and Canadian governments abstained on the unanimous resolution, which called for solidarity and support for the Quito government.
The formal OAS action is another sign of Latin America’s growing independence from the United States, and significant consolidation of hemispheric support for Ecuador, which has sheltered Assange in its London consulate since June 19. The OAS resolution encouraged continued negotiations towards a diplomatic agreement. Assange is represented by the Spanish human rights attorney Balthazar Garcon, who succeeded in forcing the extradition of the dictator Augusto Pinochet from the UK to Chile in 1999.