Ecuador is in the hands of the Indigenous


The protests against higher gasoline prices in Ecuador will intensify. In many places, it came to blockades of road bumps with security forces and looting, together. Be worn the protests, particularly from Indigenous people.

Thousands of protesters have on Wednesday (9.10.) in the capital, Quito gathered, in order to increase the pressure on President Lenín Moreno. The Confederation of indigenous peoples (Conaie) called for a General strike. She is the driving force behind the protests. Blockades, strikes and violent protests paralyzed, in the meantime, the country as a whole.

The day before, protesters were able to occupy, at times, even the Parliament. President Moreno was also, therefore, forced to move the seat of his government in the coastal city of Guayaquil. Across the country, a government-imposed exception to this is state. The original period of 60 days has been now reduced by the Supreme court on the half.

Great political influence

The wave of protest began almost a week ago, after the government had removed subsidies for fuel, in order to meet the requirements of the International monetary Fund (IMF).

To understand the enormous social and political influence of the indigenous movement in Ecuador, it helps to look at the structure of the population of the country. In Ecuador, more than 40 percent of the 17 million inhabitants of an indigenous origin. This can be explained by the strong colonization under the rule of the Inca and the relatively low immigration from Europe.

In the capital of Ecuador, it always comes back to civil war-like scenes

Representation of interests of the different indigenous peoples in Ecuador since the end of the 1940s, but it was only with the establishment of the umbrella organization, Conaie, in 1986, was a powerful and politically influential power factor. Meanwhile, the social influence of Conaie extends far beyond the indigenous proportion of the population.

“The indigenous movement in Ecuador has become a melting pot of social forces in Ecuador,” says the sociologist Kati Maribel Álvarez Marcillo from the University in Quito in an interview with DW. “Unions, workers, and even carriers are looking for due to the Power of Conaie refuge and support under your roof,” adds Álvarez Marcillo

The fight against neo-colonialism

This self-understanding as a representative of the interests of the indigenous population, but also of the socially Disadvantaged is manifested also in the program of the Conaie, which is on their website read. Apart from ethnic interests such as the protection of the culture, the language of the indigenous peoples, are also points that appeal to environmentalists and opponents of neoliberalism: the protection of indigenous territories against oil Drilling by foreign companies, as well as the fight against “neo-colonialism” and privatisation.

As a result, the most important requirement is that the head of the Conaie, Jaime Vargas, repeated in the current conflict several times, but the withdrawal of the neoliberal perceived government reforms, one of the Central the removal of petrol price subsidies.

Road blockades paralyse the traffic on many roads in the country.

“The indigenous movement in Ecuador directed against the structures of the established economic system, against the requirements of the International monetary Fund, which is run by the government of President Moreno,” says Álvarez Marcillo.

This finding agrees, in the Main, Ecuador-an expert of the Hamburg-based Giga Institute, Ximena Zapata: “The representatives of the Conaie, declared at a press conference that also other measures of the government, such as the layoffs in the public service, the loosening of the labour law, the tax Amnesty for the Wealthy, or the limitation of Oil production in certain indigenous areas.”

Before President is overthrown

At the time of open confrontation between the indigenous movement and the President wanted to give in to any of the two sides. Worrying is likely to be for the President to look into the recent history of his country. Between 1997 and 2006, Ecuador experienced the fall of three democratically elected governments. In all three of the indigenous movement in the country played an important role. The Conaie supported, for example, the street protests against the government of President Jamil Mahuads, which finally resulted in 2000 in a military coup.

With the Export of bananas, Oil, and textiles in Ecuador achieved on the world market, good revenue. Nevertheless, every second citizen lives below the poverty line. The small Andean country is in debt to the tune of 45 billion US dollars in high and hangs on the drip of the world Bank and the International monetary Fund. The game room of President Moreno seems to be limited.