Indigenous group demands fuel subsidy, mining controls and debt payment extension by August 10

Aug 5, 2021 | 1 comment

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) has set a deadline of August 10 for the Guillermo Lasso government to reimpose fuel subsidies, tighten restrictions on mining and to provide relief to debtors. In a Wednesday news conference, Conaie President Leonidas Iza said his group would formalize its demands in a Thursday letter to the president.

Conaie President Leonidas Iza presents his demands to the government at a Wednesday press conference.

“We insist that the government repeal executive decrees 1158, 1183, 1054 which were signed by [former] President Lenín Moreno and we expect this to happen by Tuesday, August 10,” Iza said. “This is not a threat of national destabilization but there will be mobilizations if we do not receive a positive result.”

He added: “Our demands are not a political action but an appeal to provide solutions to the economic crisis that affects millions of Ecuadorians. We look for comprehensive answers that benefit not only the indigenous but the entire population.”

The decrees signed by Moreno allowed fuel prices to be set by the international market, relaxed restrictions on foreign mining operators and ended the extension for personal debt repayment.

Iza said he chose the August 10 date because fuel prices are expected to rise again on August 11. August 11 is also the date of a nationwide labor protest, which many local indigenous organizations say they will join.

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“Pressure is building in many social sectors to pursue solutions to the crisis,” Iza said. “Labor movements have told us that their members can no longer live with current conditions and have planned large mobilizations. The status quo is not a solution.”

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