Ecuadorian President Lenin Boltaire Moreno insists that the mobilisations against the “Paquetazo” [raft of austerity measures decreed by the government] were encouraged from the political sector that responds to former President Rafael Correa, in this way he can continue with the arbitrary persecution of opponents and arrest them without evidence. The most emblematic case occurred this morning when the prefect of Pichincha, Paola Pabón, was arrested at her home.
The civic movement that began the strike was surpassed by the action of the native peoples, who with their organized and dignified mobilisation, became the leaders of the protest. Their strength and ability to paralyse the country at will, made Moreno offer a dialogue table, in which a commission was created to draft a decree to replace 883, which aroused popular scorn.
This commission will be arbitrated by the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador and members of the United Nations. In the meantime, indigenous leaders called for demobilisation and for displaced indigenous people to return to their territories.
After the celebrations for the power of the people to twist the arm of the government, despite the brutal repression, a certain calm returns to the streets of the main cities, although without school classes and with minimal transportation.
The right-wing that bound itself to the IMF decisions Moreno executed has shown its most anti-popular face and its prestige plummeted. While the mass media are at the center of the riots produced by small groups and Rafael Correa and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro are singled out as alleged distance instigators, the general feeling is that the government must repeal the “paquetazo” decree, must judge the crimes committed against the mobilised people and must return their roles to the institutions.
The uncertainty persists, the state of exception continues and the clock is ticking to find the formula for a decree that is respectful of the majority and guarantees Ecuadorian sovereignty in the face of interference by the International Monetary Fund.
The attention of the world is directed to Ecuador. The achievements of the powerful popular mobilisation will be evaluated from the people, but also from the factual powers. Of course, it will be the Ecuadorians themselves who will have to gauge what has been achieved and their joint strength, as well as the legitimacy of their representatives and the organizational capacity that will allow them to confront again when promises are not fulfilled or when they are governed against the will of the people.
In the very short term, it is Moreno who will have to honour his commitments to the population and these facts will produce a reordering of forces. The balance of the brutal repression will give a tragic tone to the achievements of the popular mobilisation.
CONAIE: Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, Spanish initials
Translation Pressenza London