rn: More on Ecuador – solidarity needed


Jan Slakov

From: "Viviane Lerner" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Mai-not" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FW: (en) [ecuador] !!! capital militarised !!! confrontations
feared !!!
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 12:43:33 -1000

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Ecuador: 20.000 indigenas in Quito. The capital is militarised. Heavy
confrontations feared.
By Marlon Carrion C.

                        Agencia Informativa Púlsar
                Información para América Latina vía Internet

QUITO, Ecuador. The apparent calm up to now in the Ecuadorian city ended.
At this stage people fear confrontations between the nearly 20.000 indigenas
that converged into the city and the heavy deployed military force around
governmental palace.

The president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador
(CONAIE), Antonio Vargas, said in a press conference that the struggle will
go on, that the indegena and popular uprising will continue until the ex-
government of Jamil Mahuad comes out of the Palacio de Carondelet and
resigns to power.

 Vargas said that the indigenas y the urban sectors will not go on their
knees in front of robbers and corrupt peoples detaining the economic and
political power. He therefore called upon one single front because only the
people can save the people. He also urged the police and the military to
point their guns towards those who plunder the country and not against the
people and the indigenas, their brothers and sisters.

While Vargas was talking to the press and in front of thousands of indigenas
gathered at the Agoras of the Casa de la Cultura, Quito, a police helicopter
threw propaganda leaflets in both Spanish and Quechua.

The leaflets accused the indigenas leaders of being corrupt and wanting to
destroy the country. It called the indigenas to go peacefully back to their
lands. This caused such anger and indignation among the demonstrators
that the police in the sector had to flee.

Vargas confirmed the paralysation of the country in the rural sectors. He
thanked the people from Quito for the support they had provided so far.

He condemned the violence used by the military who confronted the farmers
on the Ecuadorian coast. In some places the farmers had one to one
confrontations with the military. The number of arrests is considered to be
more than 300 so far.

Antonio Vargas denounced a further attempt of the police to arrest them,
which was not possible due to the massive number of indigenas. He called
upon the workers of the transport sector not to let them fool by the
promises of the government like it had been the case for the indigenas in
July 99 when they had converged massively into Quito during another uprising.

The Peoples Parliament rejected any dialogue with the government, saying
they were tired of promises and lies. The Peoples Parliament defended the
Constitutional paragraph attributing the sovereignty to the people and not
to the politicians.

Vargas said that the uprising will not use arms. Its strategy is to block
the roads and with the support of the oil industry workers, there will be fuel
shortage in the whole country. The idea is to generate chaos and get the
people to let the people express their discontent with the illegitimate
government of Mahuad.

This discontentment has been visible in the rest of the cities in the
For instance, on Wednesday morning in Cuenca, about 50.000 inhabitants
took the streets and marched to the governmental building. Although the
police and the military tried to repress the people, the push by the
demonstrators was superior. Everyone is demanding Mahuad and his
government to resign.

In Loja, capital of the province with the same name, the demonstrations and
protests haven’t stopped. Around noon, the military invaded university
buildings. Hundreds of students were detained and several were seriously
beaten up.

At the moment we send this message, Pulsar was informed of an enormous
military and police operation in the City of Quito that is trying to prevent
the indegenas march from reaching the centre of the City, which is were the
presidential house is. It is considered that the number of military is way
larger than it was when expresident Abdala Bucaram was forced by the
people to leave the country. (Ec/QR/Po-Pi/Cs-Pp/mc)

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From: "Viviane Lerner" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Mai-not" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 12:43:24 -1000
      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

The Confederation of Indigenas Nationalities of Ecuador CONAIE,
with other social organizations of the country, are summoning all the
organisms of solidarity, of human rights, to all the sister organizations of
the Indigenous communities of the Continent, to develop actions that tend to
restrain the repression levels, levelings, violation of human rights, and a
system of discrimination and racial violence used by civil employees and
public force of Ecuador, by order of the government of the Dr. Jamil Mahuad.

The fight of the People of Ecuador today is made of legitimate
actions, recognized in the same Constitution, which is recognized by the
sovereign power which resides in the People.

Towards the constitutional recognition mandate of the spirits of
our sacred mountains, rivers, waterfalls and seas, to maintain our
dignity at any cost, we, the people of Ecuador, undertake the Popular
Parliaments and the Great insurrection of the towns as forms of head of
resistance to neo-liberal, corrupt, anti-popular and anti-sovereign
policies, imposed by the bankers, groups of great economic power, the government
which represents them.

January 11th, after the organization of the parochial, cantonal, provincial
parliaments, we installed the National Parliament of the Communities, as an
alternate and sovereign form of power where the different social sectors
are discussing and generating government and Pluri-nacional State

This Parliament has turned out several decrees, which are

The indigenous and popular insurrection, implies several actions
such as the closings of the channels, depriving cities of products, taking
of the great cities with mobilizations, has advanced from the field to the

In Indigenous communities there has been a high levels of
repression and coercion.
Military swarm the ways out of the communities in tanks.  All
supplies and food entering the communities have been confiscated, along
with the vehicles used to transport people and supplies.

The buses traveling between towns have received orders to
transfer " any thing, person, even animals, except Indians ".  Buses in the
military zones are stopped and all those who are dressed in Indian clothes
or appear Indian are forced off.

The Government uses " sold " Indians on the television to speak against the
national leaders, saying any calumny.  False documents with racist
expressions are spread by the Government to pit us against the non-
indigenous population. Agents of the government call the translators to say
the insurrection has been suspended, or the leaders have negotiated with the
government, and that it is necessary to take a rest, etc., with the purpose
of demobilizing us.

But the Insurrection grows like a swelling waterfall.

We demanded the resignation of President Mahuad, for betraying
the interests of the country.  For having given $1.5bn of the resources of
the State to a bank whose owners robbed their depositors and protecting these
banks and their goods. In addition to that he has allowed to these same
banks to speculate with the quotation of the currency of State together with
of the United States of America, which in one year has fallen from 7,000
sucres a dollar to 25,000 sucres a dollar.

And as the grand prize, he has decreed the dolarización of
Ecuadorian economy. This means that while the pay is 40 dollars, the
shopping basket for a family of five is 250 dollars.  In the agricultural
field, imputs are no longer within reach of indigenous and farmers.  Will we
have to leave the field ?
Cities offer single misery greater to us. The government, although it speaks
of its great investments in health and education, practically eliminated free
services. Anyone able to obtain a medical diagnosis, cannot afford medical
prescriptions, the prices of medicines are near the black hole in space.

The Dr. Mahuad, who speaks of the right of the hope of and dream
of the Ecuadorians, responds to us with 35,000 members of the army and
10,000 police, and a state of mobilization and national emergency, as if
we were in war, and there were no longer citizen rights. They damage
homes. We cannot walk about on our own earth. They prohibit us from
meeting.  But we have defied with what little power we have left, with civil

For that reason we have advanced to the taking of Quito. The majority we
have passed like rain, fog, like wind, deceiving the military
controls. Now we are more than ten thousand Indigenous in Quito, making
ready to take other cities.

To be true we must be a single thought, a single heart, a single
voice and word, and a single fist.

We waited for any action in strength. We waited for its insurrection.

For any letter that You send them, we have listed the following
fax numbers:

Dr Jamil Mahuad
FAX 593 - 2 - 583 950
580 751
580 735
TEL 593-2-210-300
Ministerio de Gobierno

FAX 593 - 2- 955 317
2- 580 067
TEL 593-2-517-481

Ministerio de Defensa Nacional

FAX 593 - 2 - 580 431
TEL 593-2-572-580


Antonio Vargas

FAX 593 - 2 - 442 271

email •••@••.•••

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ivonne A-BAKI
chancery: 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans,
York, Newark, Philadelphia, and San Francisco