Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE)
English brochure: http://conaie.nativeweb.org/brochure.html


ECUADOR 2006
Ecuador's Indigenous Manifesto, March 2006
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ECUADOR 2001
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Flag of the Indigenous Alliance, with Native leader Rumi�ahui.

Flag of the Indigenous Alliance,
with Native leader Rumi�ahui.
>

c

 

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Ecuador's Indigenous Manifesto, March 2006

MANIFESTO:
MOBILIZATION IN DEFENSE OF LIFE

Indigenous Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador (CONAIE)
Quito, March 14th, 2006 �

The transitional government of Dr. Alfredo Palacio, contrary to the commitments it made last April when taking power continues supporting the policies of its predecessor, Lucio Guti�rrez, handing over natural resources, in particular water and oil, to transnational corporations; involving our nation in our neighbour�s civil war; refusing to comply with the summoning of the National Constituent Assembly demanded by all nationals due to its commitment to the oligarchy and political strongmen; in addition to aspiring to the signature of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States despite widespread domestic opposition.

The CONAIE has insisted upon transparency, participation, democracy and equity with all governments, and has fought for national demands because the indigenous peoples and nationalities have, above all, fought for the creation of a democratic and plurinational state for all Ecuadorians. We have proposed a new State model for the entire country, based in the recognition of the rights of all, a State that encompasses diversity within unity, in which economic democracy is as important as political and social democracy, all in a harmonic, tolerant and respectful manner. We have proposed the Plurinational State as the only guarantee for democracy in the widest sense possible, and the only opportunity for respect of the differences and diversity our continent is composed of.

For these reasons, the CONAIE, complying with the mandate given to it by its grassroots supporters, has decided:

1.- To begin the national mobilization en different provinces throughout the national territory demanding that the government immediately remove itself from all Free Trade Agreement negotiations it is partaking in with the United States; the definitive expulsion of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), the nationalization of oil; and the urgent summoning of the National Constituent Assembly.

2.- The continuation of the mobilizations has been reaffirmed in coordination with the provincial organizations: the taking of highways, popular assemblies and marches on Quito, in order to demand that the current political regime comply with the commitments it made in its capacity as transitional government.

3.- Summon the Ecuadorian populace to support the national indigenous mobilization, and impel, in a most decisive manner, all actions in coordination with the social movements of the country.

4.- Instruct the deputy block of the Pachakutik Movement so as to permit them to create the proper alliances and undertake necessary action in order for the Alfredo Palacio administration to be tried for treason, immediately removed from office, and push for the creation of a government which will urgently summon a National Constituent Assembly, �

Signed and delivered in the city of Quito, March 13, 2006
Political Commission
Indigenous Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador
CONAIE


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Ecuador: Army Attacks Village in the East, four persons dead



From: Elsbeth Vocat evocat@puebloindio.org
Feb. 2, 2001
From: Otavalos OnLine otavalosonline@yahoo.com


In eastern Ecuador, the army has used troops and helicopters to attack Puerto Napo and other villages in Napo province, where, under the leadership of CONAIE and the Patriotic Front, villagers were carrying out protests against the government and its state of emergency.

Two people died in the attack at 6:30 this morning. They are Ju?n Garc*s, age 19, and a teacher from the UNE whose name has not been confirmed. Another five were seriously wounded and are in hospital. They are Klinger Grefa, David Tapuy, Marco Grefa, and Mateo Grefa. Several people were detained.

The army has also entered Tena, the provincial capital, and is using teargas and firepower. Compa?ero Carlos Cabrera Rojas has been killed by soldiers and latest reports are that a boy has also been killed. This war against an unarmed people continued at mid-day. Tena's Radio Fuego has been shut down and is under military control.

In La Costa, in Los Rios province, local leaders are being treated as criminals. Adolfo Puente Tello, provincial director of the MPD (the Popular Democratic Movement) was arrested, with a great show of force, by special forces. Also arrested were Luis Palma, leader of a small businesspersons' association and a member of the Patriotic Front.

In the meantime, in Quito, Compa?ero Samuel Vargas, national vice-president of the National Teachers Union, (the UNE) remains under arrest. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombs planted yesterday in the offices of a bank and a transport company in Quito. On the contrary, there are many rumours that (the bombs) are but another attempt by the military to justify its brutal repression against the people of Ecuador (and an attempt) to impose the IMF's conditions. The Patriotic Front and other organizations are calling for a general strike this Wednesday, February 7th, and for all sectors of society to continue the struggle. Activists from CONAIE are continuing the hunger strike begun last Saturday and others joined them today. CONAIE's leaders were in dialogue with the government, as was reported in the bourgeois press. The dialogue has been broken off, for "lack of guarantees."

E-mail or faxed protests should be directed to:

Dr. Gustavo Noboa Bejarano
Presidente de la Rep�blica del Ecuador
Fax: (5931)(580735)
despresi@presidencia.ec-gov.net
vpre@uio.telconet.net

Abogado Juan Manrique
MINISTRO DE GOBIERNO Y POLICIA
Fax: (593-2) 580067
ministrog@presidencia.ec-gov.net




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February

Ecuador: - communique, translation
February 2, 2001
From: Ishgooda ishgooda@voyager.net

many thanks to Ed H for translation of the following communique...
translations are being web posted at: http://icci.nativeweb.org/levantamiento2001/english.html



National unemployment and Mobilization of the Workers,
Native Farmers and other social organizations of the country.



The answer of the Noboa's government to the insistent questions and exigencies that have made the labor organizations, the native-farmers, the social and popular movements of the country realize from the beginning of January of this year, because of the ominous economic measures decreed at the end of December and rectify the government's political mistakes that are doing as much damage to him as he is doing to the impoverished majorities of our country, has been: to diminish the actions of the popular organizations; to apply a hard police and military repression against the demonstrators, even using firearms; to order to prison indigenous and popular union leaders; to prevent the provision of water, of public services and the supply of foods to the indigenous comrades who are concentrated in the Salesiana University, violating in this way the rights to unionization and human rights and, finally, not satisfied with his decree of the State of Emergency for the whole country, demonstrating once again his great power, his stubborness and his total refusal to the open dialogue that will allow us to find a conscientious solution, balanced and just to the requirements and expectations of the people.

These mistaken actions of the President and his power group of advisers, instead of appeasing our anguished plea he makes us stronger to face this struggle and to not be dismayed in our intent that they will listen to our pleas and take care of our circumstances and to repeal the last economic measures.

For this reason, we have made a firm and combative call to all our militants (branches of the national federations, provincial, cantonal, [gremiales] associations, company committees, unions, etc) to every corners of the country, that on Wednesday 7th of February we carry out National Unemployment, we will mobilize and raise with greater force our voice of protest against:

  • Rejection of the State of Emergency.
  • The unconditional freedom of the prisoners.
  • Rescind the economic measures, without any conditions
  • Reject the elevation of the IVA.
  • Wage overhaul according to inflation.
  • Rejection of the brutal police and military repression.
  • Against the Colombia Plan that is affecting the border zone of the country.
  • Reject the presence of the North American military at the base of Manta.
Unemployment and the mobilizations on the 7th will culminate with a Great March, at 4:00PM, to the most strategic places of each city, going to the government building to give manifestos to the authorities and to express the position of the working-class and the people. In the case of the capital, Quito, the Great March will go to the Palace of Government.

Quito, 5th of February 2001
JAIME ARCINIEGA AGUIRRE
PRESIDENT OF TURNO DEL FUT
PRESIDENT CEOSL

 




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From: Senior Staff senior-staff@nativenewsonline.org

Ecuador's Indians win face time with president after day of bloody clashes



QUITO, Feb 6, 2001 (AFP) -
at asia.dailynews.yahoo.com

President Gustavo Noboa was to meet with Indian protesters for negotiations Tuesday, four days after he had ruled out such a meeting and declared a state of emergency to rein in massive protests.

The meeting was announced late Monday after a one hour meeting between the two sides at the presidential palace here, and following a day in which three Indians were killed and 29 others wounded in clashes between protesters and security forces.

The breakthrough was announced by Nina Pacari, a political spokeswoman for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE). There was no immediate confirmation from the government.

"Under a compromise worked out at the meeting, police have already begun to withdraw from the Salesian Polytechnic University," she said.

The local university was the site of a clash earlier Monday between security forces and Indians who have occupied the campus since January 29.

Moving in on foot and horseback, about 80 police used tear gas to try to remove some 6,000 protesters, but were repelled by Indians brandishing wooden spears posted at entrances to the campus.

That confrontation followed the deaths of three Indians during an operation by security forces to forcibly remove about 700 protesters blocking a bridge at Puerto Napo, 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Quito, according to Red Cross officials.

The Indians are protesting scarcity measures imposed at the start of the year, including a 100 percent hike in the cost of fuel and 75 percent rise in public transportation costs.

They are also protesting the replacement last year of the local currency, the sucre, with the US dollar. The dollarization process was accompanied by 91 percent inflation.

Noboa had declared a state of emergency Friday following the collapse of negotiations, after Indians demanded to meet with him and he refused.

Representing the Indians in talks with Noboa Tuesday will be Antonio Vargas, the 40-year-old president of CONAIE, who was a key player in a coup d'etat on January 21, 2000 which toppled then-president Jamil Mahuad.

Backed by 10,000 Indians who flooded downtown Quito, Vargas was part of a three-member civilian-military government that lasted only four hours before handing power over to Noboa, Mahuad's vice president.

Though Noboa, by all accounts, has the support of the military in defending against the indigenous uprising, his popularity among Ecuador's civilians is declining rapidly.

Noboa began his mandate in January, 2000, with 51 percent of the country backing him.

In a poll released Monday, however, his numbers had plummeted to just 28 percent, with 54 percent of Ecuadorans registering support for the indigenous protests.








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Indian Rebels Trying to Overthrow Government, Ecuadorean Officials Say

Unrest: 'Extremist politicians' are blamed for inciting protest against price hikes. Inflation has been rampant.



February 5, 2001
From Reuters http://www.latimes.com/editions/orange/ocnews/20010205/t000010764.html


QUITO, Ecuador--Officials here said Saturday that "extremist politicians" were manipulating a massive Indian protest against price hikes to try to overthrow the government a year after a similar uprising ended in a coup.

In a televised address to the nation, Interior Minister Juan Manrique said the political group, which he did not identify, wanted to "disrupt order in the Republic, alter the legal system and illegitimately grasp the power of the state."

The address came a day after the government declared a national state of emergency empowering the military to evict thousands of protesters--some carrying spears--who have flooded into Quito and blocked key highways across the Andean nation.

Over the past week, security forces firing tear gas have clashed with protesters who object to government-mandated gasoline and public transport price hikes that, backed by the International Monetary Fund, are intended to boost ailing state coffers. The impoverished nation of 12.4 million people is embroiled in one of its worst economic crises in decades.

Last year, after widespread demonstrations the same Indian leaders who have organized the current protest took over the Congress building in a move that led, with support from some in the military, to the ouster of then-President Jamil Mahuad.

Political analysts have said it is unlikely that this year's protests will topple Mahuad's successor, President Gustavo Noboa, because he has the backing of the business community and, in particular, the military, which often acts a key power broker.

Still, Noboa is struggling to consolidate political stability in the Italy-sized nation that has had four presidents in four years.

About 5,000 Indian protesters have gathered in Quito at Salesian University, where security was tightened Saturday. Indians carrying spears guarded the doors, restricted traffic flow and checked visitors' identification.

The government's imposition of the national state of emergency indicated that security forces might evict the protesters from the university during the week, political analysts said.

Defense Minister Hugo Unda told Ecuadoreans in Saturday's government address that the emergency allowed the armed forces to "plan and execute evictions of groups that occupy public and private installations."

The state of emergency empowers the government to limit group meetings and nationwide travel, search private homes without legal authority, and dispatch military and police forces as it deems necessary.

But Antonio Vargas, president of Ecuador's National Indian Federation and leader of last year's overthrow, vowed not to back down.

"They've been insisting we talk and threatening to evict us. They want to apply a strong hand. We're not going to run, we're not going to faint. We are going to stay right here until we reach our objective," Vargas said in a speech at the university.

Manrique accused Vargas of breaking off talks with the government, which sought a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Indian leaders said talks were called off Friday because Noboa did not personally attend the meetings and the vice president and cabinet ministers handling them would not discuss repealing the price hikes.

The nation is reeling from an economic crisis that has sparked 91% annual inflation--the highest in Latin America--and with only 25% of Ecuadoreans able to work in full-time jobs.






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Quito: genocide underway; Protesters Occupy IMF Office in Ecuador

 

From: "Keith Vick" keith_v@yahoo.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 12:32 AM
Subject: Ecuador Police State: IMF/WB & Wall Street Connections

[The following post was culled from an NNTP newsgroup and the original poster did not provide his real email (for source followup), but the story is one of the best on Ecuador because it points to the Wall Street firm of Gramercy Advisors as the instigators of the the chaos that has now engulfed the nation. Apparently they weren't willing to extend the payments on the IMF/WB loans they held, the people took to the streets, then the army was called in to squelch the protests. -slave]


February 4, 2001
From: not@inthe.game (justanoldman)


Listen up...

There are, at this very moment, over 13,000 Indians on the verge of being erased from the face of this planet, sitting in the campus of the University of Ecuador in Quito. That's 13,000+ Indian men, women, children & elders. The police & army surrounding them have been sporadically firing thousands of rounds of bullets & tear gas at them for the past 8 days. To date (as I was told before telephone went dead last night) over 30 have been killed & over 600 wounded. They have little food left & only what water remains in the fountains to drink since the water supply was shut off on Thursday. On Friday the govt of Ecuador, under orders from Washington DC, declared an official State of Emergency. It is now illegal for more than 3 people to meet & converse together for any reason, & the army is fanning out across the country & arresting every single Indian leader, elder & voice & "disappearing them" for "security reasons" without any need for due process. Antonio Vargas, elected leader & spokesman for CONAIE, was arrested last week, secured his release via a writ of habeas corpus, but was "disappeared" again when the state of emergency was declared.

The situation is desperate & the govt of Ecuador & their masters in Washington, capital of the greatest Whore State in the world today, does not want the world to know what is going on. The CONAIE website [http://www.conaie.org] was hacked last night to remove all of the eleven (11) boletins posted by CONAIE since 01 January 2001, describing the current crisis & pleading with good hearts (especially those of their North American relations) for attention & support.

As you may recall, the Indians of Ecuador marched in January, 2000. They marched on Quito in columns that swelled to well over one-&-a-half-MILLION Indians, to protest the privatization of the fresh water supply of their country, & the turning over of control of Ecuador's economy to the Federal Reserve Bank of the USofA, conditions demanded by the IMF & the World Bank for a loan to Ecuador.

The need for that loan was created when one single New York City-based investment dealer named Marc Helie, a partner in the Wall Street firm of Gramercy Advisors, who refused to agree to a one month extension of the pay-out on the Ecuadorean bonds that his firm held. He still openly brags that he is, "the man who brought Ecuador to its knees, single-handed". In the single news report describing his "triumph" (The Globe&Mail - Report on Business 19 Jan 2000 pp b1-b8), Helie's firm is described as, ".. specializing in making money from economies on the brink of disaster.." But did Gramercy Advisors or this carpetbagger Helie get a single voice of disapproval or condemnation from a single American citizen, let alone from any Indian in the USA for their destabilization of an entire country?

The Quecheu Indian Nations in Ecuador, who are a 'minority' of 45%-65% of the country's population, marched. They were then as they are now, UNARMED. The students & labour unions joined them, & when several army units joined their ranks (90% of the Ecuadorean army are Indians) the government of President Jamil Mahuad was toppled. After a few days, the Vice-President, Gustavo Noboa, was named President & made promises (signed accords 17 July, 2000) to the Indians that the fresh water of Ecuador would never be sold to the US & Italian-based multi-national corporations that had "bought" it, small farners would be forgiven their debts to the govt & fuel prices would be frozen for 2 years...

So the Indians went back to their villages & farms. The army was given a huge pay-raise (US "aid"). With the Indians in uniform bought off, all promises & signed accords were immediately forgotten. Now water for the sheep & small plots of maize in that DESERT climate costs 35-cents (USD) per gallon, when the average Indian farmer/shepherd makes LESS than $500 (USD) per year. And the sucre, the currency of Ecuador that constituted all of whatever meagre funds & savings the Indians held, is now worthless paper, replaced by the US dollar which none but the ruling families of Ladinos can afford, as dictated by the US Federal Reserve Bank & the IMF. Last week's directions from the US govt also resulted in the declaration that the labour unions in mines & oil fields (all 100% USA-owned) were now illegal, & the price of gasoline was raised by 200% (while exports of Ecuador's huge oil reserves to the USA shot up from 65% of national production to 100%). As an added blow, bus fares were boosted by 75%. (That's devastating because 99% of the Indian farmers bring their produce to regional markets by bus.. Their soil is so poor that they can carry their yields in a basket).

"Coincidentally", the USA has also completed construction of their new naval base at Manta & is building ten (10) more military bases in Ecuador (3 along the border with Colombia & 7 'elsewhere') under the usual PR cover of "fighting the war on drugs" (ie, to crush the "subversive" Indians) - Can't let the po' folk (esp with skin-tones other than white) mess up the spread of "US democra$$y" by insisting they exist & have rights now, can we?

So CONAIE, with the 100% support & direction of the thousands of Indian families they represent, organized another march on Quito beginning the first week in January, 2001. The Ecuadorean army, with US military "advisors" openly in full uniform whispering in the ears of the local army commanders, is now going on a rampage of arrests with no warrants, thousands have been "detained" with no indiaction of whether they are dead or alive, & CONAIE & labour union offices are being trashed & padlocked. And all the self-styled "activists" on alt.native are too busy with whale-shit & the usual crap about "blood-quantum" to notice what is happening to their relations in Ecuador, to denounce what is being done to the right of self-determination of indigenous Nations in Ecuador, or the blood that is being poured into the soil of Ecuador from the bodies of dead Indian men, women, children & elders.. Rights & blood as precious as, & part of, your own.

Given a small windfall that permits me the means to travel, I leave for the region tonight. If my contacts are still alive & can get me into Ecuador I'll try to send back first-hand reports somehow.






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From: Robert Weissman rob@milan.essential.org
(by way of Tom Condit tomcondit@igc.org)


Urgent sign-on letter on repression and SAPs in Ecuador



**Please send signatures to Karen Hansen-Kuhn at khk@developmentgap.org**

Dear Friends,

As you may know, Ecuadoran indigenous, labor and other civil-society organizations have launched a massive campaign to reject the IMF-imposed adjustment program in that country. They have encountered repression, including mass arrests and several deaths resulting from confrontations with the police. The civil-society groups are planning a national strike tomorrow, 7 February, and there are serious concerns that the violent measures employed by the government will escalate. We are in regular contact with SAPRIN-Ecuador as the situation unfolds. Please consider signing the letter below in order to support the civil-society efforts and to put pressure on the government to end the repressive measures and open a dialogue. Given the urgency of the situation, please send sign-ons (name, title, organization) to me (khk@developmentgap.org) by noon tomorrow. We are preparing a factsheet with more information on the situation in Ecuador that we will distribute shortly.

People in the DC area will also be gathering tomorrow from 8:45am to 9:30 in front of the Ecuadoran Embassy at 15th and Euclid to protest the repression and support the Ecuadoran people's demands. Contact Soren Ambrose at 50 Years Is Enough (202-544-9355, soren@igc.org) for more information on that effort.

                Thanks,
                Karen Hansen-Kuhn
                DGAP



Dear President Noboa:

We write to you as representatives of U.S. civil-society organizations concerned about the impact of IMF- and World Bank-imposed structural adjustment programs around the world. We are alarmed by reports of violent suppression by your government of the legitimate public protests against the most recently implemented adjustment program in Ecuador. We urge you to cease this repression and to launch a national dialogue to find lasting solutions to the pressing economic and social problems confronting your country.

We understand that over the past 20 years, the IMF and World Bank have made the implementation of adjustment programs a condition of financial support to the government of Ecuador. Our colleagues in Ecuador inform us that these programs and the specific economic policies they embrace have placed the major burden of adjustment on the nation's poor and working people, its small farmers and businesses. The IMF's and the World Bank's insistence on the application of a new round of economic measures has put dignified living conditions even further beyond the reach of large segments of the Ecuadoran population. Many of us are also in contact with representatives of those international institutions regarding their role in this crisis. We have also been informed that attempts at peaceful dialogue on this issue, including the SAPRI process in which the Bank, your government and civil society have been engaged, have not led to any meaningful change in the policy positions of the government or the international financial institutions. This is particularly troubling given the findings emanating from SAPRI that document the negative effects of many adjustment measures. It is therefore understandable that, when the IMF-supported economic measures were announced in December, affected citizens and civil-society groups would organize themselves to find and use other means to express their dissent regarding the continuation of these policies. What is not acceptable, by any international norm, is that these peaceful protests have now been met with state violence and repression in order to fend off public opposition to these policies. It has been reported that several indigenous people have been killed and some seriously wounded by public security forces, while others have begun a hunger strike to demand a repeal of the recent economic adjustment measures.

The way forward to resolving the economic problems in Ecuador, or in any other country, will be found neither through military force and the restriction of rights nor through the imposition of adjustment measures that lead to further social exclusion. We urge you to immediately cease the violent repression of public protest against the adjustment policies and to seek real and lasting solutions through an expanded national dialogue involving a broad range of social actors representative of the diversity of Ecuadoran society in order to create a just and inclusive economic program.

Sincerely,
Karen Hansen-Kuhn
The Development GAP
927 Fifteenth Street, NW - 4th Floor
Washintgon, DC 20005 - USA
Tel 202-898-1566, Fax 202-898-1612
E-mail: Karen Hansen-Kuhn khk@developmentgap.org
Web www.developmentgap.org







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From: Robert Weissman rob@milan.essential.org
(by way of Tom Condit tomcondit@igc.org)

http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/wsn/2001/msg00318.html

February 1, 2001
Accion Ecologica


Contacts:
Ivonne Yanez, 011-593-2-568091 (in IMF offices) Quito, Ecuador
Esperanza Martinez, 011-593-2-529287


PROTESTERS OCCUPY IMF OFFICES IN QUITO, ECUADOR



As part of a protest movement that has brought Ecuador to a virtual standstill, a growing number of activists from environmental and human rights organizations have occupied the offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Quito to protest the IMF's role in Ecuador's current social crisis.

"We want to expose the real culprits," says Ivonne Yanez, one of the women occupying the IMF offices. "The IMF-imposed policies, carried out by the Ecuadorian government in exchange for more loans, have resulted in more than 50% of Ecuador's national budget going to pay off the foreign debt, have burdened the country with the highest rate of inflation in Latin America, the highest levels of corruption, the most advanced rates of deforestation and environmental degradation, and the worst example of maldistribution of wealth on the continent."

The IMF sit-in is occuring at the same time that the country's indigenous population, who make up more than 40% of the Ecuadorian people, have blockaded the nation's major highways. The blockades, which are entering their fourth day, are in protest against the government's economic policies, which have impoverished millions of Ecuadorians. The blockades have prevented the delivery of food and supplies to large portions of the country, resulting in shortages and skyrocketing prices.

The government's response to the protests have been harsh. In Quito alone, there have been 24 wounded from confrontations between the police and protesters. There are currently between 5,000 and 8,000 indigenous activists camped out at the catholic Salesian Politecnic University, which is hosting them, and more people are arriving from the countryside daily. The police have prevented the indigenous activists from marching through the City of Quito, bombarding them with tear gas every time they try to march from the University.

On Tuesday, January 30, the government arrested the leader of the indigenous movement, Antonio Vargas, on charges of subversion and attempting to overthrow the government.

The protesters occupying the IMF offices in Quito are in support of the indigenous movement.







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Feb. 6, 2001
From: Senior Staff senior-staff@nativenewsonline.org translated by Ed H..thank you so much!
Original Spanish release here.. http://conaie.nativeweb.org/


To all friends, brothers and comrades of life and justice, we invite you to read this Demand to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, so that they will intervene in the reality of Ecuador and demand the repression, the death and the incarceration against the Indigenous People to cease.

5 of January 2001

Ambassador, Jorge Enrique Taiana
Executive Secretary
Inter-American Commission of Human Rights
1889 F Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Ambassador Taiana:

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (the "Conaie"), represented by Mr. Antonio Vargas and the Center of Economic and Social Rights (the "CDES"), represented by its General Coordinator, Paulina Garz�n, under the legal sponsorship of doctor Patricio Pazmi?o Freire, we respectfully present to the Commission of Human rights (the "Commission") the following petition against the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, in accordance with Articles 41 (f), 44 and 51 of the American Convention of Human rights (the "Convention") on behalf of the natives (men, women and children) that since January 22, 2001 came to participate in peaceful demonstrations in opposition to the economic measures decreed by the government of Doctor Gustavo Noboa Bejarano.

This demand shows serious violations committed by the Ecuadorian Government represented by Dr Gustavo Noboa Bejarano in his role of President of the Republic, the . Juan Manrique in his role of Minister of Government and Police and the Vice-Admiral Hugo Unda, Minister of Defense, when arranging actions and measures that violate sacred fundamental rights in the Political Constitution of the Republic, several international treaties ratified by Ecuador, as well as the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights, the American Convention of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of Children, the Convention on the Elimination of all types of Discrimination Against Women and Agreement 169 of the International Organization of Work.

Ecuador faces a persistent social, economic and political crisis in the frame of a highly conflicting and unstable region. It is absolutely irresponsible that the government confronts the demands and peaceful protests of the population, closing all channels of negotiation. To replace dialogue with repression is an inadequate policy that the only thing that it can cause is greater violence, rupture of the constitutional guarantees and violation of the human rights, restoring in the country a spiral of useless confrontation.

In Ecuador, as fruit of its political fragility, corruption and economic crisis, in the last years have they have dismissed two Presidents of the Republic, without spilling a single drop of blood, at the present time, the violent and repressive measures ordered by the government of Dr Gustavo Noboa B., has shot many natives and nearly five thousand natives detained, that is to say, surrounded by elements of the National Police and the Army, in the patios of the Polytechnical University Salesiana.

In a quite suspicious way, coinciding with the arrival of the natives in the capital of the Republic, the Monday 1st of January of this year, have appeared graffiti on the walls of the city with phrases saying: "Be a patriot, kill an Indian", and in the Park of the Little Tree dead dogs have been thrown, the site of the initial concentration of the march, with placards that said "Do not play with fire, Manueles...you are going to die"

ANTECEDENTS

Different indigenous, student and workers organizations of Ecuador initiated peaceful protests and mobilizations from the first days of 2001 against the hard economic measures taken by the national government, implemented in fulfillment of the Letter of Intention subscribed with the International Monetary Fund. These protests began after a year of frustrated attempts to engage in a dialog with the government. On the 26th of January indigenous organizations (CONAIE, ECUARUNARI, FEINE, FENOCIN and AFILIADOS DEL SEGURO SOCIAL CAMPESINO) were summoned to a national indigenous mobilization and began peaceful marches of communities from different places from the country towards Quito, as well as other protests in different cities of the country.

The indigenous protests are the result of a whole history of discrimination, abandonment and massive poverty, especially suffered by the indigenous people. In recent years, Ecuador has lived through repeated social crises. At the present time the country has one of the highest rates of inequality in the distribution of wealth in the world. The indigenous population represents approximately 40% of the population, but it is in the poorest end of that population where inequality is found: it has 3% of the means of production and they live on an average of US$ 2 per day. The poverty in the country has risen to levels never before seen: it is thought that 70% of the population are under the poverty line, and among them, 20% are indigent. As it might be supposed, the conditions of the people and indigenous nationalities constitute the most alarming extremes of these numbers.

These people and nationalities are terribly limited in political participation and representation. Less than 3% of the members of the National Congress are indigenous, nor is there a single native in the Ministerial Cabinet. Many of the official positions and mass media do not have open doors to the dialogue nor a single active participant of this sector of the population. For them, one of the few resources to express their opinions, to be listened to and to participate in the political life of the country, is through the massive mobilization towards the capital.

For cultural reasons, the decisions that the indigenous communities take in cases that affect them in general terms, are taken in assemblies through traditional mechanisms by means of a decentralized and general procedure that has resulted in the acceptance and participation of all the members of the community. This means that the indigenous demonstrations are conformed to by most of their members, even old women and children to have a nonviolent character.

Approximately, between 8,000 and 10,000 natives have arrived at the city of Quito in the last five days, among whom were counted a great number of women and children, held to the chest (the number of infants is considered to be approximately 400). From Sunday 28th of January, the Polytechnical University Salesiana (UPS) has welcomed them and lodged them in its estates.

RELATION OF THE FACTS

The government of Ecuador has decided to respond with violence and repression to these peaceful mobilizations, dispersing the natives in the highways with tear gas, shots, preventing them from traveling towards the Capital by transport forcing them to walk hundreds of kilometers, and confiscating the cars brought food from the provinces for the demonstrators.

When Sunday 28th of January arrived, a police wall - under direct orders of the president of Republic, Dr Gustavo Noboa, Government Minister, Juan Manrique, and the Minister of Defense, Vice-Admiral Mario Unda, prevented these people from being reunited and from camping in the Little Tree Park in the neighborhood of the House of Culture, this being a park for public use.

By disposition of the National Government, from the first hours of 29th of January 2001, it was not allowed for the demonstrators within the UPS to receive humanitarian aid from the citizens of Quito and international organizations providing medicine, clothes, foods, disposable diapers and potable water. In addition, the services for light, potable water and telephone were cut in the whole of the UPS.

In parallel, a massive discrimination against the natives (men, women and children) has been exerted and they have been prevented to walk in the streets bordering the Polytechnical University Salesiana (UPS) solely because they are indigenous and wearing clothes that characterizes them as such, whether they are or are not part of the mobilization. An alarming fact that cannot be stopped from being denounced, because of the profound implications of discrimination and racism, is the action of the police in the province of Imbabura, who started to stop chauffeurs and to confiscate the vehicles of transport cooperatives, exclusively for the "crime" of having a native name as it happened to the car of transport no. 2 of the Cooperative "Imbaburapac".

During all these days the University has remained besieged, the basic services have partially recovered thanks to the pressure of public opinion and it has prevented, in many cases violently and arbitrarily, (as the national press reports and some organizations of human rights and ONG�s have denounced it) the access of cars, trucks and people with donations of essential supplies like water, medicines, disposable diapers, foods and food supplies. The use of tear gas has been constant and indiscriminate, causing asphyxia specially in women, children, and the old, and leaving several wounded.

This situation is becoming progressively aggravated, if one considers that in the night of Friday 2nd of January the national government has dictated Executive Decree no. 1214, and by the authority of the Ministers of Defense, Hugo Unda, and of Government, Juan Manrique, who proceeded to execute it immediately. The State of Emergency is declared in all the national territory, like the Mobilization of the FF.AA. and the National Police, authorizing the Public Force to make the requisitions that have been determined in Articles 54 and 55 of the National Security Law, at the same time citizen rights are suspended in numbers 12, 14 and 19 of Article 23 of the Constitution, that is to say the rights of: mobilization, free circulation, free association and the inviolabilidad of the home.

These facts allow us to anticipate that if the government exerted acts of violence, at moments that the Constitution was in full force, it may be presumed that at the end of the day the violent action, the repression and the violation of the fundamental rights can be more direct and could affect and place in imminent risk the security and the life of the natives, mainly those most vulnerable like the old, the children, and the women who are surrounded in the UPS.

VIOLATIONS OF RIGHTS

The actions of the national government have violated the following fundamental rights guaranteed in the Political Constitution of the Republic and treaties of human rights:

The right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to free movement, the right to have meetings and the right to peaceful association and the right to equality:

The government has violated fundamental rights that are consubstantial for the life of a democracy by taking repressive measures to prevent the exercise of rights of liberty of expression and association. The natives in a peaceful way, without arms, in the public light, accompanied by groups of singers and dancers, walking, showed their rejection of the government's economic measures, and, in these circumstances, they have suffered a degree of political and military repression that is excessive and unusual in the recent political history of the country. The impact and the citizen commotion that caused these governmental actions deserved the immediate reaction of the H. National Congress, that dated 31st of January 2001, by means of legislative agreement, rejected the violence and governmental repression.

The right to special protections for children and women, the right to health, the right to personal integrity.

When not providing foods and cutting the basic services, as well as when preventing receiving humanitarian aid, it put in risk the life and wholeness of children, women and the old, who now face serious physical and psychological consequences, violating minimum norms of international humanitarian rights. The government has a special obligation towards the children, adolescents and women. The Constitution, in harmony with international instruments, grants status to vulnerable groups, and the government is obligated to take care of and to grant the favor of its protection in situations of disaster and armed conflicts. Nevertheless, the public force constantly takes actions of intimidation and psychological pressure against the natives, through the mobilization of hundreds of operants with anti-riot cars and light tanks.

The right to not being stopped arbitrarily, and the right to due process.

The government of Ecuador, when arranging to prevent the free circulation of the demonstrators outside the perimeter of the UPS, jailed in fact near to 5000 natives during the 29th and 30th of January 2001, violating norms of due process and personal freedom.

The right to equality without discrimination for ethnic or cultural reasons.

When arranging that all native (nonparticipants of the mobilization) must abandon their means of transport, it prevented circulation in the city, and confiscated units of transport due to the fact of having indigenous names, the government of Ecuador adopted racist measures that harm the right of equality of all Ecuadorians.

In the words of the Dr Julio Prado Vallejo, illustrative member of the Inter-American Commission of Human rights, before the serious situation "a fervent call to the Government to stop the repression that the Police indiscriminately is carrying out to prevent legitimate manifestations of indigenous communities who protest the economic measures" (the Express of Guayaquil, Thursday, 1st of February 2001, p. 2, first edition).

By the character of Social State of Right of Ecuador, and by subscribtion and to having ratified the International agreements, Pacts and Declarations in the matter of human rights, it is under the jurisdiction of the Commission and therefore is subject to the scrutiny and investigation of the disposition, admissibility and reasonableness of the means adopted by the National Government in relation to the facts related here, the same as they carry responsibilities at national and international level and delegitimize the adopted actions.

Not settling down such responsibilities, the immediate and medium consequences for our country will mean the perpetuation of a political model based on repression, segregation and racial exclusion for reasons of poverty, and it will be forced to prevent human rights justice.

REQUEST

The Republic of Ecuador ratified the American Convention on December 28,1977 and the Protocol of San Salvador on March 25, 1993. Consequently, the petitioners respectfully request that the Commission:

Initiate the procedure in this case according to the procedure enunciated in Articles 46 and 51 of the Convention and 19 of the Statutes of the Commission.

Exhaust all the procedures established by the Commission in order to clarify and to prove the facts and violations alleged by this request.

To consider that the stated facts demand of the Commission the urgent adoption of exceptional measures of protection to guarantee the integrity and to avoid irreparable damages that the thousands of natives who are in the UPS could undergo, before the certain threats of an imminent evacuation on the part of the public force, under the discretionary judgement under the Decree of Emergency; basing our request on articles 41, letter b) of the Convention and 18, letter b) of the Statute of the Commission, and, under the protection established in article 29, numeral 2 of the Regulation of the Inter-American Commission of Human rights, we request that immediately the Commission interposes urgent precautionary measures against the Ecuadorian Government to prevent them from carrying out violent actions of force and the evacuation of the natives who are in the interior of the UPS and in this way to assure the due respect of human rights.

Declare that the government of Ecuador has violated Articles 19 and 25 (2) of the American Declaration; Article 9 (1), (2), Article 12, Article 19 and Article 24 of the Pact of Civil and Political Rights; Article 13 (1) and 15 of the American Convention of Human Rights; Article 1, Article 2 (c) and Article 4 (b), (h) of the Inter-American Convention on Violence Against Women; Artice 3, Article 19 (1) and Article 24 (1) of the Convention on the Rights of Children; Article 3 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination; Article 10 (1), (2-f) of the Protocol of San Salvador; Article 23 (2), (3), (7), (9), (14), (19), Article 24 (4 and 6), Article 42, Article 47, and Article 48 of the Political Constitution of Ecuador; exhorting them to repair and compensate for the damages committed against the natives who have suffered harm and injuries as a result of the police and military repression and, sends the proceedings to the Inter-American Court of Human rights.

By virtue of the nature, content and reach of Executive Decree no. 1214 with which the State of National Emergency is declared, limiting and restricting the civil liberties and guarantees, for the petitioners, and, in a particular way for the natives who are surrounded in the UPS, it becomes impossible to attend before the national events to obtain an pronouncement on the tenor of this request and, particularly, in order to assure the precautionary measures for urgent protection of rights, principally before the imminent facts of force that can cause serious damage to the fundamental rights of the natives.

In the next few days we will send the documents of proof (videos, photos, testimonies etc..) that will support and demonstrate the assertions of this request.

The petitioners respectfully request that all future communications on this case are sent to telefax: (5932)560449, Quito, Ecuador.

Mr. Antonio Vargas, CONAIE ; Mrs. Paulina Garz�n, CDES
Dr. Patricio Pazmi?o Freire





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ALERT ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ECUADOR

Quito, Ecuador 3 February 2001

Rights of Citizens of Ecuador are Violated



DESPOTISM IN ECUADOR BY THE PRESIDENT UPON DECREEING A STATE OF EMERGENCY ADDING TO THE STATE OF INTERNAL DISTURBANCE.

We have endured the internal disturbance of the government, they have come striking day to day the tranquility, the justice, and the stability of our homes, by force more than two million have had to flee to different countries for the survival of their children and our elders.

On the other hand, those who have administered the institutions of the State have been the representatives of the groups of economic power, and are exactly those responsible for this crisis, those who accuse the State of inefficiencies and the need to privatize services and rights that the State is constitutionally obliged to answer. But what is too much is that these greedy sectors of wealth need time and again for the State for "to save their businesses, squandering, and theft". To this State of Commotion, there has been immunity and impunity.

But now the government and the President of the Republic now decrees a State of Emergency and of exception of rights and civil guarantees, to "legally" sharpen [?] the levels of repression and violence, that they have been exercising since two weeks ago, against the Indigenous Nationalities.

They really never had interest in dialogue, it is worthwhile to examine their behavior in these two weeks: 10 injured by shooting, 40 injured by bombing, many bruised, more than 300 detained. The farce of wanting dialogue tried new levels of national and international pressure, as hundreds of opinions from the press, non-governmental institutions, sectors of the different churches, multilateral agencies justify it.

ANXIETY WITH THE "AUTHORITY AND MORALITY" OF STATE

The Government of the President Noboa, through the State of Emergency and statements of his officials, excuses the LEVELS OF VIOLENCE EXERCISED. What principles and human values we can find in individuals who justify their conduct with the notorious Morality of State, the violation of personal rights and of the nation.

URGENT CALL

We call all people and national and international institutions, and Human Rights agencies, to intervene URGENTLY in the serious situation that exists in Ecuador.

We invite you to assume the responsibility of avoiding MASACRES, INCARCERATION and TORTURE against the Indigenous Nationalities and the leaders of their organizations. And to demand the Government of Ecuador enters into a dialogue responsibly with the different Indigenous Nationalities and sectors of the country, in order to leave together the crisis in which the groups of economic and political power have taken us.

TO THE ARMED FORCES

We appeal to the Armed Forces to abstain from executing any order that violates the life and integrity of the persons that the CONSTITUTION protects. Consider that on the side of the indigenous people and of the majority of the poor, are your children, brothers and families. Ask yourself, who are on the other side?

DIGNITY GROWS WITH THE HUNGER STRIKE

Facing the violent attitude of the Government, 50 comrades of the 13 thousand comrades that are in the University Politechnic Salesiana, have decided to start a HUNGER STRIKE, as an act to increase dignity and humanity. These comrades will be encouraged by the presence of 350 children, who as symbols of new life, will be together with their mothers and fathers in this University and in the paralyzed highways along 12 provinces of the country.

A FORUM FOR THE DIALOGUE

Confronting despotism, the Nationalities and rural and native organizations, we call the different sectors of the country to a dialogue, so that in the middle of this darkness, collectively we go on building the light of hope of an Ecuador for everyone's dreams.

BECAUSE WE ARE SINCERE
WE ARE A SINGLE THOUGHT
A SINGLE HEART AND A SINGLE FIST





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From: Amazon Alliance amazon@amazonalliance.org


Ecuador: Uprisings Met with Repression and
Country Under a State of Emergency
February 5, 2001

Contents:
  1. Ecuador Wakes Up Under a State of Emergency - Accion Ecologica
  2. Uprising Meets with Repression - Weekly News Update on the Americas
  3. Grassroots Leaders Arrested - Weekly News Update on the Americas


1) Accion Ecologica - (verde@hoy.net)

ECUADOR WAKES UP UNDER A STATE OF EMERGENCY



This morning, February 3, 2001, Ecuador woke up under a State of Emergency. Under this arrangement, freedom of association has been suspended, private homes can be invaded, and citizens can be detained without warning. In short, the Ecuadorian people have lost their constitutional rights.

The State of Emergency, under the Law of National Security, declared Friday night by the government of Gustavo Noboa, is the latest step in a series of acts of violence and repression undertaken over the past week. The State of Emergency in Ecuador is reminiscent of the methods implemented by various dictatorships during tragic moments in the history of Latin America.

This latest step by the government is clearly aimed at punishing the indigenous people, who have demanded an end to the violence and a repeal of economic policies which have brought the country to the brink of destruction. The economic policies include, among other things, the construction of a new oil pipeline, the spurring along of the mining industry, privatization of the water supply, an increase in taxes, the return of kerosene as a fuel for home use, and an increase in the bus fares. The new indigenous uprising, which began last week, has included the blockading of the nation's highways and a march of 10,000 indigenous people from the countryside in the Capital of Quito. Currently, 6,000 indigenous activists are concentrated inside the Universidad Politecnica Salesiana, surrounded and constantly attacked by the police every time they try to march from the university campus. In the face of this situation, and the refusal of the government to enter into a dialogue, 50 activists from the indigenous and peasant communities, who grow and provide the country's food, have decided to launch a hunger strike, as a way of being heard. Every hour, 50 more indigenous people will join the hunger strike.

Ironically, the business sector of the country, such as the flower cultivators, have supported the violence and "hard repression" out of fear that they will lose export business for the 14th of February - Valentine's Day. Paradoxically, a new delegation of the International Monetary Fund are in the country - how shameful! - having to evaluate another failure of their economic policies.

In Ecuador, we need your help - letters, telephone calls, public declarations and any other type of actions which let the government know that the world is watching. These acts of international solidarity are a way of preventing even worse abuses and violations of the fundamental rights of the Ecuadorian people, and a protest against institutionalized racism against indigenous people.

          Please distribute this appeal widely.

          ACCION ECOLOGICA - ECUADOR

Letters should be sent to:

Doctor Gustavo Noboa
PRESIDENTE DEL ECUADOR
Fax No.: (593 2) 580 735

Senor Jorge Manrique
MINISTERIO DE GOBIERNO
Fax No. (593 2) 580 067

Senores
EMBASSY OF ECUADOR IN YOUR COUNTRY

[Ambassador Ivonne A-BAKI
2535 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482]

Please send us a copy at: (593 2) 529287 / 527583 Or to verde@hoy.net



2) WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE ON THE AMERICAS (wnu@igc.org)



February 4, 2001

UPRISING MEETS WITH REPRESSION

Ecuadoran campesino and indigenous sectors stepped up a massive national grassroots uprising over the week of Jan. 29, in an effort to force the repeal of recent price hikes and other widely unpopular economic policies, including the dollarization of the economy, which the government has imposed under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). By Jan. 29, some 5,000 indigenous people from across Ecuador had already arrived in Quito to take part in the uprising, led by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and other indigenous groups. Marco Murillo, a leader of the Federation of Evangelical Indigenous People of Ecuador (FEINE), confirmed that all the national indigenous and campesino organizations are united in demanding changes to the economic measures.

Most of the protesters who arrived in Quito have camped out in the coliseum of the Salesian Politechnic University. Police used tear gas against a group of protesters who tried to reach El Arbolito park in central Quito on Jan. 29; a number of people were injured. Outside the capital, protesters blocked most of the country's main highways. Despite harsh government repression that left dozens of people injured, some seriously, during the week of Jan. 22 [see Update #574], organizers of the uprising said it would continue until the government repeals the economic policies. [La Hora (Quito) 1/30/01; El Telegrafo (Guayaquil) 1/30/01]

On Jan. 30, Minister of Government Jaime Manrique Martinez ordered police to surround the Salesian University, to prevent the indigenous protesters camped there--by now numbering 6,000 or more--from leaving. Police were also ordered to confiscate supplies: they seized diapers, medicines and food destined for the families in the coliseum. By Jan. 31, the government had cut off water, electricity and telephone services to the university, and human rights groups warned that the lack of water could provoke a health crisis.

Indigenous protesters tried to march to the Quito city center on Jan. 30, but police used large quantities of tear gas to stop them. In the city of Riobamba, 10,000 protesters seized the central plaza, while others occupied radio stations and read communiques over the air. In the city of Cuenca, some 200 people occupied the cathedral, with support from the local bishop. [Agencia Informativa Pulsar 1/30/01; LH 1/31/01; ET 1/31/01, 2/1/01]

On Jan. 31, with much of the country shut down, the government agreed to accept mediation by six national and international institutions in a dialogue with protest leaders. The government agreed to hold talks on an end to the confiscation of supplies for the protesters; guarantees of the right to peaceful protest; an end to the persecution of protest leaders; and an opening of the dialogue process. The government refused to discuss releasing arrested leaders, saying that was up to the courts; and would not accept CONAIE's list of demands as an agenda for dialogue, leaving that to be determined in future talks. [ET 2/1/01]

On Feb. 2, CONAIE broke off the dialogue process, saying that the government was refusing to budge from its positions and was not taking the talks seriously. The government then decreed a national state of emergency, suspending constitutional guarantees and allowing mobilization of the armed forces to quell domestic unrest. [Pulsar 2/2/01]

The indigenous protesters in Quito--now numbering some 13,000, according to CONAIE--responded on Feb. 3 by pledging to continue the uprising; 50 protest leaders also began a hunger strike, which is to continue and expand until the government backs down. The Unitary Workers Front (FUT), the country's main labor federation, announced it will consider beginning a general strike during the week of Feb. 5, to support the uprising and protest the state of emergency. [Pulsar 2/3/01; CONAIE Statement 2/3/01]

Talks between protest sectors and the government were expected to resume on Feb. 4, while the state of emergency remained in effect. [Pulsar 2/4/01; LH 2/4/01] According to El Telegrafo, the government has conditioned renewal of the dialogue on the lifting of all protest actions, and particularly the highway roadblocks, which have virtually halted all commerce. [ET 2/4/01]

Letters supporting the demands of the uprising and urging the Ecuadoran government to halt the repression and negotiate in good faith with protesters can be sent to President Gustavo Noboa Bejarano (fax #593-2- 80-735; email despresi@presidencia.ec-gov.net or pre@uio.telconet.net); and Minister of Government Juan Manrique (fax 593-2-580-067, email ministrog@presidencia.ec-gov.net); with copies to Oilwatch/Accion Ecologica (fax #593-2-233-016). [Letter from Michael Laslett 1/30/01; Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos (APDH) via Equipo Nizkor 2/4/01]



3) WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE ON THE AMERICAS (wnu@igc.org)

February 4, 2001

GRASSROOTS LEADERS ARRESTED



Early on Jan. 30, plainclothes military intelligence agents abducted Antonio Vargas Huatatoca, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), and beat up his driver as Vargas was leaving a Quito radio station following an interview. CONAIE is one of several groups leading a national uprising against the Ecuadoran government's neoliberal economic policies; the uprising began on Jan. 22. Luis Villacis Maldonado, leader of the Popular Front, a grassroots and labor coalition also involved in organizing the uprising, was arrested the same day as he left his home. Mario Morales Parra, president of the Federation of Free Workers of Pichincha (FETRALPI) and a leader of the Ecuadoran Federation of Free Trade Union Organizations (CEOSL), was arrested later in the day.

Salvador Quishpe, leader of the Parliament of the Peoples of Pichincha, managed to evade police when they tried to arrest him on Jan. 30. Quishpe blasted the government repression and said it would only stir up more resistance. He suggested that the government "open all the prisons and sports stadiums of the country in order to lock up all 12 million Ecuadorans." The leaders of the uprising, noted Quishpe, "are not one or two, but an entire people." [Agencia Informativa Pulsar 1/30/01; La Hora (Quito) 1/31/01; El Telegrafo (Guayaquil) 1/31/01, 2/1/01]

Vargas was freed on the morning of Feb. 1 after Quito mayor Paco Moncayo accepted a habeas corpus petition on his behalf. The petition argued that Vargas' detention was unconstitutional because he was not notified in his native language, Quichua. Several other protest leaders were arrested on Feb. 1, including Estuardo Remache, president of ECUARUNARI, an organization of indigenous people from Ecuador's Andean region. They were released later on Feb. 1, as were Villacis and Morales.

Also on Feb. 1, a group of women from Ecological Action, the Permanent Assembly of Human Rights and the Coordinating Body of Social Movements occupied the offices of the government's National Modernization Council (CONAM) and handed over a letter in which they accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of destabilizing the country, and asked that IMF officials be arrested. [Pulsar 2/1/01; LH 2/2/01; ET 2/2/01]


Distributed by:
'AMAZON ALLIANCE' FOR INDIGENOUS AND TRADITIONAL PEOPLES OF THE AMAZON BASIN
1367 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036-1860
tel (202)785-3334, fax (202)785-3335
amazon@amazonalliance.org , http://www.amazonalliance.org





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From: Senior Staff senior-staff@nativenewsonline.org
(http://conaie.nativeweb.org/)
translated from here by Ed H...thank you!


Quito, February 5, 2001
URGENT, URGENT



At this time, 4:00 P.M. the police is attempting a violent evacuation against the thousands of comrades who are in the Polytechnical University Salesiana.

We urgently ask that you develop infoprmation and actions to stop these disastrous events, that have come about in the last few hours. You will be given an update soon.

WHILE THE GOVERNMENT HIDES IN A DIALOG WITHOUT ANSWERS, IN THE PROVINCES HE MASSACRES US.

This Sunday and Monday the representatives of the Government with the Vice-president at its head and the organizations with the vice-presidents of organizations CONAIE, FEINE, FENOCIN and SOCIAL INSURANCE FARMER, CONFENIAE, ECUARUNARI will begin to discuss the agenda proposed by the Indigenous Nations.

In the first meetings, we demonstrated to the Government that it was possible to apply other economic measures, as well as of the possibility and necessity to review the economic measures. But before the arguments, and the inability of the VICE-PRESIDENT TO MAKE A DECISION, the government responds stubbornly based on the only reasons it has, the repressive force and the preservation of resources for the banking interests and big business.

That attitude has expressed itself in the provinces of Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Ca6nar, Loja, Cotopaxi, Imbabura and Napo, through the police and military forces, they responded with bullets, teargas and jail: on this day alone it has caused us: 4 dead and 9 hurt in the province of the Napo. Among the dead we have a boy of 10 years shot in the head. And the military leader of that zone in declarations to the media indicated "we have not come to repress but to restore peace". 123 prisoners in the province of Tungurahua. 15 wounded tens of comrades are tied to posts and struck with chains and sticks.

Confronted with this "FORM OF DIALOG OF THIS GOVERNMENT", our comrades who were participating in the conversations with the Vice-president of the Republic withdrew until they find human attitude and a minimum of sensitivity to the anguish of the indigenous people.

THE MAJORITY OF ECUADORIANS DEMANDS DIALOG

While 66% of Ecuadorians support the indigenous movement and barely 28% support the President of the Republic, according to a poll conducted by CEDATOS; 75% of Ecuadorians demand that talks are a necessity! MR. PRESIDENT LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!

Why do you think that we have this great endorsement of the Population? Because we like most of the Ecuadorians are HUNGRY. Your famous "dollarization" and holy repression are impoverishing us and annihilating us.

With great dignity, 42 of our brothers made a high sacrifice for the new life that we want, a hunger strike that already lasted near 48 hours. MR. PRESIDENT THE ECUADORIANS ARE NOT, ONLY THE SMALL GROUPS THAT STAY IN THE HOTELS, BEACHES AND RANCHES THAT YOU ALWAYS VISIT. WE ARE 12 MILLION ECUADORIANS, WE ARE IN COASTAL MOUNTAINS AND AMAZONIA... in the high deserts, in the thick amazonian and coastal forest.

To govern for and with the people, amid the pressures and special interests, it takes men and women who are knowledgeable, who have integrity, are human and brave. YOU HAVE DEMONSTRATED YOU ARE DEFICIENT IN THESE.

AMA SHUA- Don't steal
AMA LLULLA-Don't lie
AMA QUILLA-Don't be Idle

Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE)

URGENT CALL TO STOP MASSACRES ORDERED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ECUADOR

Demand President Noboa stops the death, the beatings and imprisonment

FAX of the President 593 2 580 - 735
FAX of the AMBASSADOR INTER-AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF HUMAN RIGHTS 202 4 583992

DEMAND THAT THEY INTERPOSE PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES TO CRIPPLE THE GOVERNMENT AND PREVENT IT USING COMBAT OPERATIONS AND EVACUATION AGAINST THE THOUSANDS OF NATIVES WHO ARE IN POLYTECHNICAL SCHOOL SALESIANA.

CONAIE, thank you for your solidarity

Conaie mailing list Conaie@listas.ecuanex.net.ec
http://listas.ecuanex.net.ec/listas/listinfo/conaie




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Ecuador Declares Emergency Amid Indian Protests



February 2, 2001
http://news.excite.com/news/r/010202/21/international-ecuador-emergency-dc


Some 4000 Indian Protesters Gather Outside the Salesiana... (AP) QUITO, Ecuador (Reuters) - Ecuador's President Gustavo Noboa declared a state of national emergency on Friday after the breakdown of talks with Indian leaders over price hikes. A state of emergency allows the government to limit group meetings and nationwide travel, inspect private homes without other legal authority and dispatch military and police forces as it deems necessary, according to the constitution.

Thousands of Indians have arrived in Quito since last weekend to protest government-mandated hikes in transportation and fuel prices.

The International Monetary Fund backs the measures aimed at boosting the coffers of the cash-strapped government in the poor Andean nation.

Protesters have blocked highways, making vehicle travel nearly impossible and triggering a scarcity of basic goods in some major cities.

A leader of the National Indian Federation, Marco Tongoy, told Reuters late on Friday talks with the government had broken down.

Ecuador, which has had four presidents in the past four years, is struggling to restore political stability after a mass Indian uprising, backed by some military personnel, overthrew President Jamil Mahuad just one year ago. The coup brought Noboa, who was then vice president, into power.

Last week, thousands of Indians flooded Quito's Salesian University, where they sleep crunched on the gymnasium floor and plan activities of social protest in the school's blacktop courtyard during the day.

But they have held few marches because scores of police officers surround the university campus and disperse protesters with tear gas when they try to start a demonstration.

During the week's standoff, an Indian and two union leaders were detained and later freed by authorities and protesters, in turn, took hostage a police officer and released him.

The military has warned it will not allow protests that risk the stability of the nation of 12.4 million people.





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Please visit the CONAIE pages at http://conaie.nativeweb.org/ and have a look at the pictures and see your brothers suffer and die. I am still sick into my bones, because I am not only the webmaster of CONAIE, but I also have loved ones in Otavalo and Peguche, and other sites, and I am worried sick. However it looks like things may have calmed down, but the families of those 4 (or six now I believe) who was killed have nothing , they have lost something they never will get back. You, who are indigenous people of USA and CANADA, this is your family too, the natives of Ecuador are poor and need all support they can get. (something the US government dont want to do anything about, as long as they can have controll, they dont give a damn about the millions of native indians of the andean and amazon areas)

Please show your support, anyone who want to give any tribal statement in support of the dead and woundeds families and the "first man" nations, please send me an email with your tribe's or individual suport to admin@tawantinsuyu.com and I will post it so the CONAIE and our brothers can at least know that the indigenous of the North are with them in their thougths, please....


Laila Holtet,
CONAIE webmaster
and president of the Alianza Indigenas
http://www.nativeweb.org/tawantinsuyu

 




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Ecuador seems ready to meet Indians' demands



February 08, 2001
THE IRISH TIMES
World Section


ECUADO: Ecuadoreans woke up yesterday morning to hear two pieces of apparently contradictory news. While a day of general strikes around the country in protest at government economic policy was beginning, administration representatives expressed optimism that indigenous leaders were on the verge of signing an agreement with President Gustavo Noboa that would bring an end to weeks of social unrest in this small Andean nation.

Late on Tuesday the government revealed that it was prepared to take a step that only a week previously had seemed unthinkable: to heed demands from indigenous leaders and reverse fiscal measures implemented in December.

Some 10 hours of negotiations in the presidency between government and indigenous representatives left both parties haggling over details of the measures, such as exactly how much the administration would reduce the price of cooking gas and for how long it would freeze the price of fuel, but with hope that a deal was close to being signed.

The relatively swift resolution to a social problem that looked likely to drag on indefinitely seems to have been partially brought about by the outrage provoked by an armed confrontation between indigenous protesters and a group of soldiers in the Amazon city of Tena on Monday, which left at least two Indians dead and several others wounded.

Details of the incident have been vague and sporadic, due to the remoteness of Tena, which lies some 100 miles south-east of Ecuador's capital Quito, but to the thousands of Indians and mestizos who have joined the protests around the country, it was the latest in a catalogue of brutal acts by the government.

Mr Noboa's sudden decision to appease the Indians is surprising, not only because of his tough talk only a few days ago, but because by granting concessions to the protesters, he appears to be compromising his own economic plan.

The government had previously defended the fiscal measures as an integral part of both its medium-term strategy for the country's dollarised economy and its credit agreement with the IMF.

The continuation of Ecuador's $300 million deal with that institution depends to a great extent on the Noboa administration's ability to implement reforms such as those that have been facing such angry opposition.

An IMF representative involved in negotiations with the Ecuadorean government summed up the importance of the reforms for the credit deal. "If the government does step back from the fiscal measures, it's going to jeopardie the programme," he said.

Mr Noboa was brought into power in January 2000, following an indigenous uprising supported by a faction of rebel army officers. Most observers believe his personal position is unlikely to be threatened by these protests, as the armed forces are behind him. However, the crisis has undoubtedly weakened his position.

Mr Luis Villacis, a leader of the country's largest labour organisation, the Patriotic Front, which has been one of the main participants in recent protests, conceded that the government is unlikely to fall right now, but said social discontent was still growing.

In Dublin, the Latin America Solidarity Centre urged the public to send messages to the President and Vice-President of Ecuador encouraging the resumption of dialogue with the indigenous people instead of taking a "heavy-handed approach" to their social demands. LASC said President Gustavo Novoa could be reached at despresi@presidencia.ecgov.net and Vice-President Pedro Pinto at vpre@uio.telconet.net






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INDIAN BLOOD YIELDS PROFITS FOR THE PEOPLE OF ECUADOR



Quito
7th of February, 2001


Indian blood splashed on the face of President Noboa has reached a level of sensitivity. We trust that these stains on the face of the President he will never get rid of, so that the politicians and next government officials will remember that they must govern for all Ecuadorians.

This Wednesday 7th of February an agreement was signed between the Leadership of the Indigenous Organizations CONAIE, FEINE, FENOCIN, FEI, FENACLE, CONFEUNASE, ECUARUNARI, CONFENIAE, that contemplates among other achievements, the following:

  • lowering of the price of gas by 40 cents in the dollar

  • freezing of the price of fuels for a year

  • students, children and older people will pay half-fare on public transport

  • T

    he K�rex Plan will not be implemented in the indigenous communities because it is so toxic

  • Restructure, strengthening and capitalization of the Development Bank

  • Recovery of the trading portfolio due from the banks in which the AGD intervened

  • Increase of the budget for indigenous organizations CODENPE (development), DINEIB (education) and DNSI (health)

  • Swap the External Debt for the conservation of the environment, for the benefit of local government and the indigenous communities

  • Create a solution to the different conflicts on land and water that face the indigenous communities - farmers

  • The implementation of policies that benefit emigrants

  • To look for consensus for the reform of the social security and proceed to payment of the debt to the farmer's social insurance

  • The necessity that the country abstains from participating in the Colombia Plan because it pursues war and death

  • REPARATION FOR THE RELATIVES OF THE DEAD AND INJURED

Another aspect that is contemplated is the disparaging of the State of Emergency and fundamentally reparation to the relatives of the assassinated comrades and those injured by the government of President Noboa.

If anyone is interested in having a copy of this agreement in its entirety, write to us at our email address at Conaie@listas.ecuanex.net.ec and with pleasure we will send them to you.


CONAIE



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Ecuador government and Indians agree to end deadly protests



By Gonzalo Solano,
Associated Press, 2/7/2001 22:39
http://www.boston.com/dailynews/038/world/Ecuador_government_and_Indians:.shtml


QUITO, Ecuador (AP) Indian leaders met with Ecuador's president Wednesday and agreed to call off violent protests against government- ordered bus fare hikes and fuel subsidy cuts.

Hundreds of Indians danced and sang in the streets surrounding Salesiana Polytechnic University near downtown Quito to celebrate. About 4,000 Indians have occupied the university for more than a week.

In exchange for a halt to the protests, the government agreed to freeze gasoline prices for one year and cut the cost of a 30-pound tank of cooking fuel by 40 cents to $1.60. The government also agreed to cheaper public transport fares for children, students and elderly people.

President Gustavo Noboa and Antonio Vargas, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, Ecuador's largest Indian movement, signed a 23-point agreement at a Government Palace ceremony.

Noboa also said he would lift a state of emergency he declared Friday and added that Indian leaders and protesters detained by security forces during more than a week of violent demonstrations would be released.

The Indians went back to the bargaining table with the government on Tuesday and refused to participate Wednesday in a 24-hour national strike called by leftist-led unions and student groups.

Before the deal was signed, police used tear gas to disperse some 300 students who set tires ablaze in the streets surrounding Quito's state-run Central University. Small marches by unionized laborers and hospital workers also took place in Quito and the coastal city of Guayaquil, but overall turnout for the strike was minimal.

Last month, Noboa doubled the price of home cooking gas, increased gasoline prices 25 percent and hiked public bus fares by as much as 75 percent as part of an austerity package demanded by the International

Monetary Fund as a condition for a $2 billion loan.

The moves prompted the Indians to march into Quito late last month, and to blockade provincial highways throughout the country. On Monday, four civilians were killed in clashes.

Ecuador's Indians make up about a third of the country's population of 2 million, and are among the nation's most impoverished people.





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MORE SUFFERING IN THE INTERESTS OF OIL
Ecuador State of Emergency: February 6, 2001



Call Carwil James or Danny Kennedy at Project Underground 510 705 8981 or mobile no. 510 912 3949. Contacts in Quito available for interview also.

Ecuador remains in a state of siege as government forces and protestors struggle over policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund, and state actions in the interests of the oil industry in the country and region. Over 5,000 indigenous people are behind barricades in a polytechnic university in Quito, with 50 more people going on hunger strike each and every hour until their demands are met.

The forces of globalization that have swept Ecuador in the last year, including the dollarization of the currency, have degraded the lives of workers, women, campesinos and indigenous people. All these constituencies were involved in major mobilizations last week, including the blocking of highways and a march of ten thousand to Quito where a delegation from the IMF has arrived to review their work.

Police responded heavy-handidly to protests in many parts of the country and a state of emergency was declared on Friday night. It remains in force as of Monday morning PST.

Apart from demanding a moderation of the impacts of structural adjustment, including the price of gas and fuel, the indigenous federation organizing the uprising is also trying to contain the war for oil in the region, which has begun under the guise of the US' Plan Colombia. Ecuador has already experienced the US' militarization spilling over their border, with a military base in the South being handed over to be used for the "drug war".

Indigenous leaders demand that this base be returned to the sovereign control of the people of Ecuador, and is reminiscent of a solidarity action taken by them last year to occupy Occidental's office in Quito in support of the U'wa of Colombia. Having suffered major oil contamination by companies such as Texaco and Conoco over decades, Ecuadorians empathize with the demands of the U'wa to be left untouched by the oil.

"In a country that has already suffered from gross human rights and environmental abuses at the hands of big oil, this latest spate of repression is an outrage. Women, workers and indigenous people are united in their demands and the international community and US government should support them by forcing the IMF to accede to their demands," said Danny Kennedy of Project Underground, in Berkeley, California.

CONAIE, the national indigenous federation of Ecuador, is organizing ongoing mobilizations, including the hunger strike in a major university. They are supported by the National Campesino organization and other major social movement formations. The protestors objectives are clearly outlined and include the following oil-related demands:
  • Reduction in the prices of fuel and gas.
  • Complete national sovereignty over Manta Base, a military outpost being used for operations in Colombia, and no regionalization of the US' Plan Colombia.
  • Approval of the Law on Public Enterprises based on the demands of oil workers.





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