AMERICA/ECUADOR - A peace agreement puts an end to the long period of violent demonstrations

Friday, 1 July 2022 indigenous   civil society   politics   social situation   episcopal conferences  

Quito (Agenzia Fides) - After the mobilization, anti-government protests and acts of violence that have caused at least 6 deaths and about 500 injuries in Ecuador since June 13, the blockade of roads and activities, the declaration of a state of emergency, a peace agreement was signed between the government delegation and the delegation of indigenous associations yesterday June 30. The agreement was signed at the end of a meeting held at the headquarters of the Episcopal Conference, which has always mediated dialogue between the parties (see Fides, 22/6/2022; 24/6/2022) and provides for the return of the demonstrators in their own territories, the abandonment of violent acts and the return of peace. According to information gathered by Agenzia Fides, the agreement was signed by the Minister of the Government, and by the representatives of the three major indigenous organizations: Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (Conaie), Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indígenas y Negras (Fenocin ), Consejo de Pueblos y Organizaciones Indígenas Evangélicos del Ecuador (Feine). The Government has accepted the requests of the indigenous movements, the main ones relating to the reduction of the price of fuels, to curb oil activities, not to grant permits for mining activities in protected areas and in the territories of indigenous communities. Other economic measures had already been announced by the government. Leonidas Iza, president of Conaie, specified that the agreements do not contain all the requests of the natives, even if they represent an important goal achieved. The agreed package will be followed by a "dialogue table" that will monitor the situation for the next 90 days, in which government and various sector leaders will participate.
The President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, in a televised message following the agreements, assured that the country has found peace and put an end to the mobilizations, inviting all Ecuadorians to feel like one family and to work "to build a better, united, strong and supportive Ecuador". He also thanked the Catholic Church for her mediation.
Pope Francis had launched an appeal after the Angelus on Sunday, June 26: "I am following with concern what is happening in Ecuador. I am near to the people and encourage all parties to abandon violence and extreme positions. Let us learn: only through dialogue can social peace be achieved – I hope soon – with particular attention to the marginalized populations and the poorest, but always respecting everyone’s rights and those of the country’s institutions". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 1/7/2022)