Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Ecuador: Foreign minister says social protest is legitimate

Quito ( Associated Press) – Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Holguín said on Monday that indigenous and social protests are legitimate and their demands must be met by the government, which he called for setting up dialogue tables aimed at that goal.

In an interview with The Associated Press, he explained that protesters “have their right to protest, to protest and to be understood to participate in this mobilization as long as it is a peaceful mobilization.”

The strike, called by the largest confederation of its kind in the country, has led to eight days of violent protests, demanding a reduction in gasoline prices, more budget for education and fixing the prices of agricultural products, among other demands. Is.

On Monday, thousands of indigenous people and farmers managed to enter the capital through various access points via the Pan-American Highway, dodging police and military officers who tried to block their progress.

The situation has caused traffic to come to a halt on some of the capital’s main thoroughfares, while hundreds of protesters in the port city of Guayaquil, dressed in white, spoke out against the strike and in favor of democracy.

Indigenous people’s maximalist leader, Leonidas Iza, indicated in a video published on the social network that “it is in your hands, the president of the republic, to escalate the violence or resolve the 10 points (taken by that confederation) as he is in Ecuador.” will bring peace and dignity to the people of

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He added that if the raised demands are not met “if it continues to criminalize, it continues to militarize cities, if it continues to attempt to enforce dictatorship … the end result.”

In a national broadcast, President Guillermo Lasso called on indigenous peoples to seek solutions to each of the “legitimate needs” of Ecuadorian families, although he pointed out that the response so far was “more violence, to attack Quito”. new threats”; We can’t allow a few violent people to stop Ecuador’s millions of people from working… we keep the conversation open.”

The protests, which have particularly affected the northern Andean centre, have been characterized by road closures, demonstrations that have escalated into aggression in some cities. Ground blockades have almost engulfed the capital, where they have begun to cause shortages of food and other products in shops and supermarkets.

“A population that does not have access to health, education, which does not have good public services … has the right to attract the attention of rulers. It is the day-to-day lives of citizens that we must change,” Minister Holguin said Told.

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Regarding a possible dialogue, he expressed that “we hope that the other side has the necessary conscience to understand … this is the way to peace.”

Asked whether he feared the continuation of democracy in Ecuador, Holguín replied that “I don’t think any party has that objective” and that the protest does not have “international support”, but “cries for help”. which the population needs”.

On Friday, President Guillermo Lasso signed several decrees addressing some indigenous demands, but was unable to end the protests. In contrast, on Monday, thousands of indigenous and peasant protesters marched towards the seat of the national government.

Holguin said social unrest is not just for the people of Ecuador. “The post-pandemic problems are in many countries, what we are seeing at the level of social uproar is simply not seen here … and the demands are not so different from what they see in the region.”

Indigenous leader Lourdes Tibán pointed out that repression is “a means that does not solve the 10 points (presented by the indigenous). I therefore call on the national government to understand the logic of dialogue.”

Nation World News Desk
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