In Ecuador, the general strike completes 15 days without agreements between the government and indigenous organizations. This Tuesday morning (28), the dialogue table between the Minister of Government, the President of the Assembly, the President of the Electoral Power and representatives of five indigenous organizations will resume, which started on Monday afternoon (27). President Guillermo Lasso did not attend the negotiations mediated by the Catholic Church.
Indigenous federations demand a 40-cent reduction in fuel prices, freezing gasoline at US$2.10 (R$10.90) and diesel at US$1.50 (R$7.80). They also demand the repeal of Executive Decree 95, which implements the policy of international fuel price parity – similar to the one adopted by Petrobras -, and Decree 151, which provides loopholes for mining operations in indigenous territories. According to the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), about 80% of the lands demarcated to indigenous peoples are under threat from mining.
In the next round of negotiations, which starts at 9 am local time (11 am Brasília time), the government must present its counter-proposal. According to local media, the government would be willing to revoke decree 95 and will present amendments to decree 151 on mining.
On Monday, Lasso announced a $5 increase in the Human Development Bonus paid to 1.5 million families; suspended the state of siege in six provinces; and announced the reduction of 10 cents in the price of gasoline (US$ 2.45 per gallon of 4.5L) and diesel (reaching US$ 2.45 per gallon), which in the first half of the year rose 37% and 65% respectively.
The president of the Indigenous Confederation, Leonidas Isa Salazar, still demands that no social leader be criminalized for the strike and that the state stop “racism and hatred” against the indigenous movement. He still demands the removal of Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo. Leonidas was arrested on the second day of the demonstrations, but today he responds to the process in freedom, having to present himself to justice weekly.
Conaie called a demonstration in the historic center of Quito, in front of the Basilica Voto Nacional, where the negotiations are taking place.
President in the crosshairs
Faced with the increase in political instability, the Executive urges an agreement with the mobilized sector.
This Tuesday (28), the parliamentary session also resumes, which discusses the request for the removal of President Guillermo Lasso. The proposal was presented last Friday by the bench of the Union for Hope (Unes). The Pachakutik party, which presides over the National Assembly, also declared support for the impeachment, garnering 72 votes.
Some lawmakers from the Democratic Left party also said they would vote for the presidential impeachment, totaling 80 votes. To remove Lasso requires support from 92 of the 137 deputies.
Last Monday, the ministers of the Interior, Pedro Carrillo, and of Defense, Luis Lara, were questioned by the Legislative Power for complaints of repression of the demonstrations. According to a survey by the Alliance of Human Rights Organizations, there were five dead, 200 injured and 145 arrested during the general strike.
One international solidarity mission and human rights observation follows the protests and denounces that it was possible to identify paramilitary action. They still demand the opening of investigations by the Public Ministry to investigate allegations of abuse by the Armed Forces and the National Police.
“They have been firing cartridges and projectiles horizontally since the day the demonstration began. People are being treated cruelly and degradingly. The victims’ right to medical care has been violated”, he denounced human rights defender Marianela Navarro during a press conference this Tuesday (28).
Editing: Arturo Hartmann