Ecuador Indigenous Leaders Charged with Terrorism and Sabotage
Correa Administration Seeks to Criminalize Dissent and Peaceful Protest
Marlon Santi, President of CONAIE, together with Ecuadorian Congressmembers
speak to the press about the trumped up charges of terrorism and sabotage.
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador – CONAIE faces an investigation issued by Otavalo city prosecutors for sabotage and terrorism during the Bolivian Alliance of the Americas summit on June 25.
Marlon Santí, president of the CONAIE, Marco Guatemal, president of the Indigenous and Peasant Federation of Imbabura- FICI, and Delfín Tenesaca, president of the Ecuadorian Confederation of Kichwa Nationalities, ECUARUNARI, make the following public statement:
On June 25, nearly 3,000 demonstrators representing indigenous peoples, workers, students and other social sectors of Ecuador participated in a peaceful march in the city of Otavalo to reject the policies being implemented by President Rafael Correa. According to demonstrators, the Correa administration is implementing policies that affect indigenous peoples and the most impoverished sectors of society, without the participation of all stakeholders, therefore disrespecting the rights enshrined in the Constitution and other international instruments.
The CONAIE reminds President Correa that article 98 of the Constitution clearly states that individuals and groups can exercise the right to resist actions or omissions of public authorities, persons and organizations, that threaten constitutional rights of the peoples, and can demand the recognition of rights.
1. The CONAIE and its members will continue their fight to build a truly Plurinational State, which guarantees the rights of all Ecuadoreans; understanding that Ecuador is a mega-diverse, multicultural, multilingual country as stated in the Constitution.
2. The indigenous movement has always been peaceful, protected by the Constitution, and based on the respect for human rights.
3. The CONAIE and its members reject all acts of racism that denigrate indigenous organizations and their leaders, or present them as criminals, when they are fighters for the rights of the disadvantaged.
4. Outright reject the reject the investigation for alleged crimes of terrorism and sabotage.
For the grandmothers and grandfathers who fought tirelessly to defend the lives of their children, we reaffirm our advances to achieve liberation.
Quito, July 1, 2010.
Government of the Indigenous Nations and Peoples of Ecuador
President of the CONAIE