Supporters of a national protest strike arrived in Cuenca last night as helicopters swirled overhead and police lined historic district streets. The march began four days ago in Zamora Chinchipe.
As marchers continue toward Quito to participate in a national strike set for August 13, other indigenous groups said they disagree with the motives of the protesters and said all indigenous people should work with the government to find solutions to problems.
In an interview with GamaTV on Tuesday, indigenous leader Antonio Vargas criticized the intention of some protest organizers to overthrow the government.
“The protesters have no proposal to solve their problems,” he said. “They refuse to participate in discussions with the government and say they intend to shut down the country on August 13. This is not the way to make life easier for our people.”
Vargas was joined by several other indigenous groups that advocate dialogue over protest.
The protesters passed through Saraguro, Oña and Nabón on Wednesday, on their way to Cuenca, where many will remain for a rally today.
.President of the of the ECUARUNARI nation, Carlos Perez, criticized President Rafael Correa on Wednesday for calling out large numbers of soldiers and police to monitor the march. “He is making a declaration of war against us,” he said. “We are making a declaration of peace.”