QUITO, June 15 — The release this Wednesday of the President of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples (Conaie), Leónidas Iza, who had been arrested the day before along with more than twenty of his companions, has not reversed the national strike that it sparked made movement to which indigenous communities from other provinces were added.
Conaie reiterated dissatisfaction with President Guillermo Lasso’s neoliberal work by ratifying a ten-point list of demands already sent to the executive branch, calling for an end to the privatization of strategic sectors of the economy. Decrease and no increase in fuel prices, fair prices in the countryside, employment and labor rights, respect for collective rights, moratorium on the extension of the resource frontier to protect resources and territories, economic relief for more than four million families, price controls, higher budgets for health and Education, safety, security and public action to end violence.
The disunity of the broad indigenous sectors united in the Conaie was manifested in their rejection of accountability from President Guillermo Lasso on May 24, a year into his tenure, a critical position also taken by union headquarters and other sectors now accompanying the protest .
So Conaie presented an alternative report “from the reality of the peoples,” he said, and called for a permanent mobilization, which began on June 13, as announced.
The President’s lack of receptive ears to his list of demands has seen the country witness its third day of mobilization this Wednesday, reporting the arrival of vehicles carrying protesters from other provinces amid Conaie leaders’ warnings The protest will be stronger.
As reported, this Wednesday there were roadblocks in the cities of Azuay, Bolívar, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Morona Santiago and Napo. Pichincha, the seat of Quito, was named as the most complicated place, because there the blockades prevented the passage through the southern and northern approaches.
The day before, and in the face of the repressive measures taken by government forces – which were particularly strong in Cotopaxi, where Iza was arrested with the participation of security forces – Conaie Vice President Zenaida Yasacama denounced, reiterating that (Lassos) “is not a government ready is to listen to the people” and urged “our organizational structures to radicalize the struggle at the national level in defense of our agenda and our highest representative”.
The tribal leader also appealed to international organizations about what she denounced as “this grave violation of human rights and social protest”.
After his release, Leónidas Iza, in a message to his colleagues, made it clear that they will continue to mobilize in defense of the people’s ten demands on the government, assuring that “no one has come out here to flout the law. We only left because hunger and injustice took over our home.
Iza denounced that her detention was part of the government’s political persecution against her.
For his part, Homero Castañer, deputy government minister, after the indigenous leader’s arrest, claimed that “we will not tolerate chaos, anarchy and vandalism in the country” and that “no message of impunity can be conveyed to those who paralyze them in public services and.” closed roads”, from which more repression and disregard for the demands of the mobilized could be expected.