FROM THE EDITORS: Below you will find a translation of CONAIE’s communiqué and resolutions taken after their assembly on November 27, which shows the tensions with Guillermo Lasso’s government and efforts to keep the movement together.
Resolutions of the General Council of CONAIE
The general council of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), gathered at the CONFENIAE headquarters on November 27, 2021, with massive attendance from all three regions of the country and to commemorate its 35th anniversary, framed within Ecuador’s working-class struggle.
CONAIE has forged its history by confronting capitalism, neoliberalism, and colonialism as an unsustainable system for human beings and the planet. Through struggle and resistance processes with the people, we have been building a political project for the country. Today, we face the fierce implementation of neoliberal IMF policies, sustained and defended by the Ecuadorian right-wing elites, to the detriment of the great majority. Therefore, the people and social sectors are now responsible for building a program based on the needs of the working class.
Based on extensive debate and analysis, we have come to the following decisions:
1. We categorically reject the gradual implementation of the neoliberal model in Ecuador, carried out by Guillermo Lasso’s government, under subjugation of IMF’s economic policy, which is establishing one of the worst versions of capitalism based on inhuman social exclusion, by subjecting our economies to usury and speculation of financial systems, and a fierce extractivism that rapidly plunder life and nature.
2. We have resolved not to establish any dialogue process with a national government that does not provide results. The government is using dialogue as an instrument to divide our organizational fabric and has never shown any real intentions to solve Ecuador’s key problems. Therefore, we ratify our demands: 1) capping the price of fuel and repealing those executive decrees meant to release price regulations; 2) a moratorium and renegotiation of debts, and reduction of financial interest rates; 3) guaranteeing fair prices and the public acquisition of local farming products; 4) generating public policies agreed with social sectors and the indigenous movement to promote living-wage jobs and to curb job insecurity; 5) a moratorium on the expansion of the oil extraction frontier, socio-environmental and ethnic impact audits on projects that are already in execution, an end to open-pit mining projects and mega-mining projects; 6) a full guarantee, observance, and enforcement of collective rights, of a prior and informed consent process that is binding, the legalization and protection of our territories, and free self-determination.
3. We declare that permanent territorial assemblies will be held and, as of January, we will indefinitely and progressively take measures, at the territorial and national levels, to avoid the looting of our territories, the privatization of strategic sectors, the imposition of new taxes on the working class, and the infliction of neoliberalism and IMF policies. We call on all social sectors of the country towards collective actions and decision-making to defend the rights of Ecuadorians.
4. We demand truth, justice, and reparation for the victims of the police brutality during the peoples’ protests in defense of their rights. The government of Guillermo Lasso has contributed to prolonging impunity for the violation of human rights committed in October 2019 and on October 26 and 27 of this year, during nationwide protests that caused new and severe arrests, injuries, and the persecution and criminalization of more social activists.
5. We reject the decision of Congress to refuse to archive the Organic Law of Economic Development and Fiscal Sustainability draft legislation. We call the attention of those Pachakutik assembly members in the legislative branch who abstained from voting to archive the law, which seeks to increase the burden of taxes on the poor and the middle class. From now on, we will request revoking the mandate of those assembly members who fail to comply with their constituents’ demands and the principles of defense of social and economic justice for the majority.
6. CONAIE will present, together with different social organizations, unconstitutionality claims before the Constitutional Court against the norms and laws that violate human rights and constitutional guarantees. In particular, we will file a claim against extractivist and privatization initiatives, Decrees 95, 151, 238, and the Organic Law of Economic Development and Fiscal Sustainability, CIADI, among others. We urge the Constitutional Court to prioritize and as quickly resolve these demands, given their importance.
7. We express our solidarity with the families who lost loved ones in the massacres in Ecuadorian prisons. We hold the Ecuadorian state responsible for action and omission that led to the violation, physical integrity, and the right to life of persons deprived of liberty. We demand a comprehensive reparation for the families of the victims. In the immediate future, we will be attentive to the execution of granting pardons and amnesty based on international human rights standards free from any political manipulation. Furthermore, we demand the application of the ILO Convention 169 on the treatment of indigenous peoples deprived of liberty.
8. We reiterate our support for the work of the Legislative Commission of Constitutional Guarantees that provided evidence about the executive’s links with shell companies mentioned in the Pandora Papers. We demand that Guillermo Lasso gives testimony before Congress for his relationship with tax havens. It is inadmissible that the president intends to suffocate the people with more taxes while at the same time using offshore companies to evade his tax responsibilities.
9. We demand guarantees from the national government for the application of direct and immediate collective rights, for recognizing and respecting indigenous justice and for ancestral territories threatened by the expansion of the mining and oil frontiers; and guarantees on the need to reestablish a bilingual intercultural system supported by technical, administrative, and financial autonomy to provide for education in the communes and communities.
10. CONAIE structures will stand firm in defending the rights of the most impoverished sectors of the countryside and the city, made up of peasant farmers, indigenous people, and the working class.
Leonidas Iza Salazar
PRESIDENT OF THE CONAIE
PRESIDENT OF THE CONFENIAE
PRESIDENT OF THE ECUARUNARI
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) is a national organization that brings together Ecuador's Indigenous Nationalities, Peoples, Communities, Centers, and Associations. #SomosConaie