News in progress by Radio Temblor Internacional

In the early hours of Tuesday 14 June, the National Police and the Armed Forces of Ecuador arrested the indigenous leader Leonidas Iza after the start of the national days of protest against the neoliberal policies of the Ecuadorian government.

National and international organisations and social movements demand the immediate release of Iza and support the full right to social protest.

We call on the government to meet the demands of social organisations and to establish the necessary mechanisms to improve the lives of Ecuadorians. We also demand the release of the president of CONAIE, Leonidas Iza, who in the framework of the Call for a National Strike was arrested today June 14 in a confusing police and military operation, without an arrest warrant, transported in a private vehicle, without being read his rights, and with excessive use of force.

On 30 May, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, in alliance with social and peasant organisations, called on the Ecuadorian people to join the indefinite National Strike in rejection of the government of Guillermo Lasso for his failure to fulfil his executive duties and his lack of interest in the reality of the country.

On Monday 13 June, the day of national mobilisation and protests began with road closures throughout Ecuador. The demands of the indigenous and peasant movement are clear:

  • Violence, insecurity and corruption
  • Lack of employment
  • High fuel prices
  • Rising prices of basic necessities, shortage of supplies for the public health system
  • Budget cuts to the country’s public universities and the inaccessibility of young people to university studies, in addition to poor educational infrastructure.\
  • Politicisation of collective rights
  • Mining in indigenous territories, reserves and protected areas.
  • Abandonment and disinterest in the agricultural and peasant sector.
  • High interest rates on bank and cooperative debts.
  • Privatisation of strategic sectors.

For his part, Guillermo Lasso, on his official Twitter account, expressed his rejection of the National Strike, describing it as the actions of political groups seeking to destabilise the government and unnecessarily paralyse the country: “Now that we have begun to reactivate ourselves, #NoPodemosPararar. Those who commit acts of vandalism will answer to justice and to the Ecuadorian people”.

Editor: Julieta González

Photo: CONAIE Networks

The original article can be found here