A collaboration by: Patricio Ávila López (text and photo)
The growing wave of demonstrations that Ecuador is experiencing in response to high fuel prices and the consequent inflation of basic necessities; the lack of medicines in hospitals and other social problems that the first year of President Lasso’s government has not been able to resolve, have led to a collective action by social organisations to deliver to the current government a list of resolutions that were made by the indigenous assemblies for the welfare of the country, an action that has been taking place in dialogues since the first day of government and that has been raised repeatedly on several occasions to date.
Government of Tungurahua prior to the arrival of the comuneros Community members Arrival of the community members at the Governor’s Office Ecuador in struggle in the province of Tungurahua (central highlands of the country), as in the rest of Ecuador, the mobilisations began on 13 June 2022 with the closure of interprovincial roads, however, in the centre of Ambato, capital of Tungurahua, the community members had not arrived until 17 June. On this day, the leaders, representatives of each of the five villages of the Kichwa nationality of this province addressed Governor Fernando Gavilanes, who listened cautiously to the dispositions offered by CONAIE for the wellbeing of all the inhabitants of the country. Music for dialogue Juan Montalvo Park in front of the Governor’s office an artist with a mask representing the aggressions of the police October 2019 The governor’s response was that the government is willing to dialogue and to listen to the .demands in the framework of a peaceful protest like the one that had been taking place and that, however, the government already had solutions to some of the problems. Among them, the governor decided to “legalise the use of weapons against delinquency” and the construction of a police station in a parish in the city of Ambato. The dialogue concluded with the signing of CONAIE’s request and a prompt response from President Lasso that would be sent to them by the governor. Governor of Tungurahua Fernando Gavilanes National police behind the fences in the Governor’s office of Tungurahua Fences to stop the takeover of the governor’s office Today, Sunday 19 June, the community members are standing guard day and night outside the governor’s office waiting for a response. However, the demonstrations continue, and after the attack on the leader Leonidas Iza, there is talk of increasing the tension of the protests throughout Ecuador.