We’re sad to see Ecuador’s ambassador Luis Gallegos sent packing from Washington, the latest casualty in the WikiLeaks controversy.
In a previous posting, he chaired the UN’s Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, granting recognition to the struggles and rights of a community that numbers more than 650 million worldwide. He once said, “Society has to recognize that it should not exclude persons with disabilities. This is a very important group of people, representing ten percent of the world’s population.”
He had a big challenge in Washington, too – representing a small country, fighting alongside a tiny but effective staff, challenging the indifference or biases of policy makers, often facing an army of U.S. lobbyists, on issues ranging from trade to immigration, to the rights of diplomats to the war on drugs, to the grievous environmental damage Ecuador suffered at the hands of Chevron. He did this and more with a lowered voice, an incisive mind, and an abiding sense of humor, which he needed.
We will miss him.