The indigenous movement of Ecuador challenges the state of exception

The largest indigenous organization in Ecuador challenged the state of emergency and the deployment of the military ordered by the conservative government of Guillermo Lasso to control the demonstrations that have been taking place for six days. The indigenous leader, Leónidas Iza, claimed that the president had not addressed the main demands raised during the mobilizations and that they have to do with the increase in the price of gasoline and the labor flexibility imposed by the government.

The Protests continue in Pichincha (whose capital is Quito) and its neighbors Imbabura (north) and Cotopaxi (south)with a strong presence of indigenous people, who represent more than one million of the 17.7 million Ecuadorians, after the declaration of a state of emergency in those districts by the Executive.

By decreeing a state of exception, Lasso also announced the declaration of emergency in the public health system of the country, due to the lack of medicines and promised to double the budget for intercultural education for indigenous communities. However, he did not mention the freezing and reduction of the price of gasoline or labor flexibility.

A “ridiculous” plan

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) ratified the continuity of the protests and described the solution plan announced by Lasso as ridiculous. In this line the leader of the Conaie, Leónidas Iza, called for a mobilization of peasants towards Quito and asked the legislators of the Pachakutik movement, the partisan arm of the indigenous confederation in the National Assembly, to propose revoking the state of emergency decree. The Ecuadorian constitution allows the parliament to revoke this decree and to do so requires 70 of the 137 votes.

This Saturday in the capital of Cotopaxi, Latacunga, unknown persons fired on the vehicle of the leader of the Conaie, who was not inside the car during the attack. The information was confirmed by Conaie’s lawyer, Lenin Sarzosa, who described the attack as an act of intimidation and stressed that in the next few hours they will present the complaint for the attack to the Prosecutor’s Office.

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