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Conaie president Vargas is kicked out of Guatemala for immigration violations

The president of Ecuador’s largest indigenous organization, Jaime Vargas, was detained and then sent home from Guatemala Saturday on charges that he violated Guatemala immigration laws and interfered in the country’s internal affairs.

Conaie President Jaime Vargas

Vargas, who heads the National Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador (Conaie), claimed he was being persecuted and that his expulsion from Guatemala was a violation of international law. “I am not a normal citizen of Ecuador,” he said. “I am the second president of Ecuador, leader of the indigenous peoples, and should be treated with diplomatic consideration.”

Vargas, who led a nationwide October  strike in Ecuador, was in Guatemala to attend at the Waqib Kej Convergencia, a meeting of indigenous leaders from Honduras, Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala and Argentina. “This was a meeting of the sovereign indigenous nations of Latin America and I was attending as a the delegate from Ecuador,” Vargas said.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said that Vargas was deported because of pending legal issues that he and Conaie face in Ecuador and because he was acting as an “outside agitator” in Guatemala. “He was in violation of our immigration laws and the prohibition of foreigners interfering in our affairs,” Giammattei said.

Vargas claims he was treated “with violence and intimidation” by Guatemalan police and said he would file a civil rights violation complaints with the United Nations.

13 thoughts on “Conaie president Vargas is kicked out of Guatemala for immigration violations

  1. The criminal government of Guatemala apparently just can’t tolerate an Indigenous leader talking to its Indigenous peoples about fighting for their rights.

    1. Maybe from your cubicle in Oakland, you can follow up on the article you wrote for CHL and tell us when does an indigenous qualify as a “radical leftist”. Do they need to don a Pachakutik t-shirt?

        1. In a word, yes. CHL has a large readership outside of Ecuador. And there are always people, whether fake swamis or wannabe internet reporters, trying to appear relevant from their cubicles–and that includes Oakland.

          Our primary goal with the online version is to reach new readers both in North America and overseas. As the only English-language newspaper in Ecuador, we believe The Cuenca Dispatch online version will find a strong market outside of Ecuador.

          1. Don’t kid yourself. CHL has no significant readership in the U.S., unless they are people who once lived in Cuenca. I would never had heard of it if I hadn’t decided to move to Cuenca. None of my U.S. friends had ever even heard of CHL before I moved here.

            1. CHL only has a few thousands readers a day, that’s true, but if you check their anyalitics you’ll see that more than half the readers are in North America. Probably people considering moving here.

            2. Ok, I will take your word for it that you are no longer in Oakland. So why haven´t you been inspired to write another article for CHL, considering that you have fashioned yourself a reporter of sorts in the past?

              P.S. To Dan´s point, if somebody reads International Living and wants to learn more about Cuenca, they can simply google “Cuenca Ecuador expats” and they will stumble upon in the results CHL. People often do this a couple years before retirement while sitting in their cubicles at government jobs.

              1. I never wrote an article for CHL. CHL published an edited version of my article published on another web site without my permission.

    2. Oorrrr they don’t tolerate someone deliberately being an “outside agitator” especially someone charged with a crime from BEING an agitator.
      In other words they are perfectly aware of the unacceptable and illegal tactics Vargas uses when protesting. They don’t want their properties damaged, people harmed, transportation stopped with sabotaging buses and trucks and their country shut down with no movement of food supplies, fuel and goods.

      Vargas obviously put himself up in this tall pedestal and thinks he is better than the average man. So what is that type of behavior called. Oh yea it’s called… Narcissism

  2. Second President of Ecuador? Treated with “violence” by the Guatemalan government? Please. Nobody is going to buy either of those statements (they have about as much credibility as the claims against Ecuador for trying to stop the burning/destruction of Quito).
    Good luck with that trumped up civil rights complaint to the UN.

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