Ecuador’s Indians Announce Rupture of Dialogue with Government

QUITO – Organizations representing Ecuador’s indigenous peoples announced the rupture of the dialogue that they had been maintaining with government representatives and said they will await the decisions of the General Assembly of indigenous peoples set for later this week to call protest demonstrations.

Delfin Tenesaca, the president of the Andean branch of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, or Conaie, confirmed the situation to the Teleamazonas television station and blamed the government for the breakdown of the talks.

“Dialogues without a response and without decision-making power” and executive orders about mining exploitation were some of the reasons why the Indians declared the talks over, he said.

“The government has no interest in what the constitution guarantees to be a plurinational state. It doesn’t want to implement it and that excludes the indigenous sector,” Tenesaca added.

He also said that over the weekend, the Amazonian branch of Conaie also decided to support the rupture of the dialogue.

“Achieving our interests has always required mobilizations,” said the Indian leader, who added that the decision to move to a national mobilization will be taken “by consensus” starting on Thursday as the Conaie General Assembly.

The government and the indigenous sectors undertook several months of talks and dialogue after the protests last September that ended with one demonstrator dead and 40 policemen injured.

Then, the government and Conaie began a dialogue process in which, at different working meetings, they studied their disagreements on several issues including a water resources law, a mining law and the procedure for schooling in both Spanish and indigenous languages. EFE

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