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Ecuador: Guillermo Lasso lifted the state of exception due to indigenous protests

In a surprise move, President Guillermo Lasso declared on Saturday the end of state of emergency which governed “due to serious internal commotion” in six provinces of Ecuador. The decision was disclosed while the National Assembly is considering a request for presidential dismissal, processed by the opposition bloc Union for Hope (Unes).

Through an executive decree, the president made the measure official, with which “the national government ratifies the provision of ensure the generation of spaces for peacein which Ecuadorians can gradually resume their activities,” said a statement reproduced by the AP news agency.

In the legislature, a virtual session continues in which Unes, supported by the states of exception decreed by the Executive “due to serious internal commotion” and which are already non-existent, requests that article 130 be applied for the presidential impeachmentfor which it would require 92 votes in favor.

The government’s last-minute decision follows a first rapprochement that took place hours before between the government and the largest indigenous organization in Ecuador, and which was confirmed by the president of the National Assembly, Virgilio Saquicela, who reported on the eventual formation of a commission that makes dialogue viable and puts an end to a national strike that has lasted 13 days.

The meeting was held in the Basilica church, located in the colonial center of Quito, which was attended by the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Leónidas Iza, accompanied by other social leaders, as well as the Minister of Government, Francisco Jiménez, Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Holguín, and other officials of the regime, informed Saquicela in statements to the press.

“There has been no commitment, but simply CONAIE’s decision to consult its bases on the appointment of a commission to start this dialogue,” Saquicela assured, ratifying that “on the part of the government there has been the corresponding opening.” ‘.

The head of the legislature indicated that it is “progress,” because “we have asked that tensions be lowered, that confrontations be lowered while this dialogue takes place and a solution is found.”

“Instead of making us more afraid, rather they have raised our rebellion, our dignity,” said Leónidas Iza, president of the Indigenous and Peasant Movement of Cotopaxi, harangued by those present, to whom he reiterated that they had come to Quito with a proposal and The measure will only conclude when the claim has been answered Among the ten points that the organization demands are the reduction of fuel prices, the repeal of states of emergency, among others.

The leader said that they did not come to the capital to commit “vandalism” and asked to pacify the country so as not to clash between brothers. However, he described as a “brutal attack of violence” the operation with which they were evicted on Friday from the House of Culture where they held a popular assembly and to which he said they would return to carry out a minga and clean it, as in the places where they are welcomed.

Iza pointed out that they will rest for the weekend and asked that the steps or corridors be opened in the interprovincial border areas to allow food to pass through and supply Quito, which faces the shortage of farm products.

In the vicinity of the El Arbolito park, on Saturday afternoon the presence of demonstrators who expressed themselves in the midst of dances, dances and whistles was evident. An important military and police contingent is in the place, without confrontations taking place.

Other social organizations such as the Confederation of Indigenous and Black Farmers of Ecuador (FENOCIN) and the Unitary Front of Workers (FUT) condemned the statement made on Friday by President Guillermo Lasso on the progressive use of force.

In a statement, the Organization of the Nations urged all political and social actors in Ecuador to “urgently initiate a meaningful dialogue in good faith” that will resolve the tension and put an end to the violence. The Commission also Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called for an inclusive dialogue in a statement “attending to the demands of groups that have historically been in a situation of vulnerability and with full respect for human rights.”

The civil organization Alliance for Human Rights, at a press conference, reported on Saturday that the group of the international solidarity and human rights mission of Argentina will participate in an on-site observation while rejecting a “deepening of the repression” against from the state of emergency and an “attack on the peace zones,” where the protesters are staying, said activist Marianela Navarro. She added that her role will be to make visible at the international level “the serious situation that the Ecuadorian people are experiencing” to demand “the right to life, free protest and all social rights” be guaranteed.

The National Police has recognized four deaths and hundreds of injuries from protesters as well as police and military.

Lasso, a former right-wing banker, has been in power for just over a year, after defeating Correismo candidate Andrés Arauz in 2021.


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