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Ecuador: Government And Indigenous Movements Very Far From Dialogue

Above Photo: Two trucks loaded with Indigenous protesters from the countryside arriving in Quito. Diario Dia.

After 10 days of protests, Indigenous Ecuadorians are asking for a dialogue with the Lasso administration.

But the two parties seem far from the negotiation table.

On the 10th day of the national strike in Ecuador, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Leonidas Iza, presented four conditions to the government of Guillermo Lasso before entering negotiations. The most significant condition was the end of police repression and cancellation of the nationwide state of exception.

The indigenous leader also requested assurances that the government would not impose new decrees during the national strike, an end to attacks on demonstrators, respect for the humanitarian protection zones.

Government response to requests In response, Ecuador’s Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, said that the government would not give in to the requests made by the Indigenous movements as conditions to end the national strike, which began on June 13. In addition, Carrillo announced the administration’s decision to implement a night curfew in an attempt to reduce demonstrations.

Faced with the official refusal to accept the conditions proposed by CONAIE, protests spiraled out of control in the city of Puyo, and there were clashes and violence.

According to reports by the authorities, citizens entered a transportation ticket office and burned the facilities. In addition, several windows were destroyed by objects thrown from outside the building.

Why are they protesting?

The Indigenous mobilization called for by CONAIE, which is now demanding Lasso’s resignation, subsequently spread to other sectors including teachers and taxi drivers. The indefinite mobilization originated as a protest against the neoliberal policies of Guillermo Lasso’s administration, which has yielded no results other than increased poverty and inequality within Ecuador.

After almost a year in power, the right-wing president’s disapproval figure stands at 71.2%, according to a poll conducted at the end of May.  Meanwhile, human rights organizations have reported three deaths so far, more than 90 injured protesters, and more than 90 demonstrators imprisoned, in a context of increased militarization across the country.

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