By Sinay Cespedes Moreno
Correspondent for Prensa Latina in Ecuador
This sentence, according to the sociologist, summarizes a little what happened during 18 consecutive days of the national strike from June 13 to 30, called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which grew significantly with the incorporation of others is social organizations.
“These were days of high intensity that ended with some achievements for the people, the most notable being the need to urgently make some changes or improve the critical situation of a country hit by the harshness of neoliberal policies,” he said in an interview with Pressa Latina.
In this regard, he specified that in Ecuador fiscal policy privileges capital to the detriment of popular interests and organized citizenship has shown in all possible ways that it is impossible to live without government attention to fundamental rights such as education, health , food and others that have been dismantled by the shrinking of the state.
Privatization and the transition to the market only lead to more exclusion and selection that prevents the majority from benefiting from these fundamental issues, such as education, and that is why the youth took part in the demonstrations so much, he added he added.
Similarly, León estimated, simultaneously demonstrated how the demands for changes are needed across the country, up to scenarios such as the possible removal of the President of the Republic, Guillermo Lasso, propagated during the marches by the Civic Revolutionary Movement faction in the National Assembly.
“The banker and dogmatic neoliberal was saved with various stratagems, but it turned out that in these scenarios more than 80 percent of the population disapproved of his management,” he stressed.
Regarding the President’s attitude towards the strike, he noted that arrogance and authoritarianism set the tone of the reaction, since he neither appeared before Parliament nor took part in the dialogue with the leadership of the popular uprising, which lasted 18 days with territorial, national character and for an indefinite period.
He was rarely present on media networks to announce the state of emergency, repression and threats. Violations of human rights have taken place by the hundreds and authoritarianism has been exposed, he stressed.
This circumvented practice, he said, is now coming to the fore to the point where crimes against humanity are being configured in a report by the international Mission for Solidarity and Human Rights, he said.
ACT FOR PEACE
Referring to the agreement sealed with the signing of the peace law by the leaders of the protest and the executive, he explained that 10 points had previously been raised, with sensitive aspects for the population, mentioning a debt moratorium, employment promotion and labor rights, faire Farm product prices and control of speculation. He also highlighted issues such as fuel prices, respect for collective rights, opposition to the privatization of strategic sectors and public assets, funds for health and education, effective security and protection policies.
The agreement envisages repealing and reforming decrees related to hydrocarbons and territories, and including a requirement for prior consultation and respect for indigenous communities in relation to mining exploitation, a very important requirement for Amazonian communities in particular, he said.
He also stressed that there are still outstanding issues on education and health (although public health has been put on a national emergency) and anything related to collective rights, which will be developed in working groups over three months.
“I think that for the mobilized popular movement, a relevant aspect was the obligation to control prices in each province,” he specified.
Among the extra-legal issues that he feels are sensitive, he mentioned the moratorium and debt renegotiation, which he said are important given the rise in the cost of living and the precariousness due to privatizations, particularly for rural people, leading to indebtedness with the financial sector introduced exorbitant interest rates that strangle life.
In this regard, despite the protesters’ insistence, he warned not to raise this issue as it is related to the financial sector.
Regarding the outstanding issues, he noted that the situation is complex because, on the one hand, the government had previously failed and could fail again, not only with the commitments not made, but also with the agreements made.
As a critical aspect, he warned of the exclusion in the signed document of amnesty and reparations for the families of the six who died, as well as pledges not to prosecute those mobilized and the leaders of the strike, in a context of persecution like the one used during the recent social unrest has been triggered and could be serious.
“Bad days could come for the actors in the mobilizations, with enormous accusations, as the official discourse makes associations with terrorism and drug trafficking. It’s a void that remains and worries,” he concluded.