Campesino group breaks ranks with Conaie, says it won’t join anti-government protest

Oct 25, 2021 | 4 comments

The Movimiento Nacional Campesino, or National Peasant Movement, announced Monday that it would not join the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) in Tuesday’s protest against the government. On Sunday, Conaie President called the campesinos “brothers in arms with the indigenous people against the government.”

At a Monday news conference, the Campesinos Movement said it would not join Conaie in Tuesday’s anti-government protest.

A partner with Conaie in the October 2019 protests, the campesino organization, which represents small farmers, said it has made progress in recent talks with the government and prefers dialog to civil disobedience.

“We are not joining the mobilizations in the country due to the progress we have made in discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture,” said movement president Richard Intriago. “The agricultural sector is in a deep crisis and we do not currently see any advantage in causing further disruptions in the country.”

He said that talks with Agriculture Minister Pedro Álava have led to a number of agreements that will benefit farmers. “We will wait to see if these promises are honored but, if they are, they will be very beneficial to small farmers and their workers,”

Among the agreements Intriago says have been reached are the transfer of silos at the National Storage Center in Daule to farmers, the establishment of campesino markets in major cities, and construction of fertilizer factories to be operated by farmers.

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At a press conference attended by movement leaders from the coast, the sierra and the Amazon, Intriago, said that dialogue is the most productive way to resolve problems between the farmers and the government. “We are hopeful that in the short term the most critical problems that we have will be resolved. On the other hand, through discussions we have reached consensus in important areas and see no advantage in going to social mobilizations that will paralyze the country.”

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