Indigenous rift develops as Conaie attacks Pachakutik leadership for rejecting impeachment
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) has attacked National Assembly President Guadalupe Llori and other members of the Pachakutik party for voting against an impeachment trial for President Guillermo Lasso.
“These members are supporting the corrupt interests of the president and his government against the will of the people who support the prosecution in the case of the Pandora Papers,” the Conaie Governing Council said in statement on Thursday. “This betrayal will be duly noted as we publicize the Pachakutik names that participated in this betrayal.”
The Assembly voted Tuesday night to reject a recommendation to impeach Lasso for holding overseas financial accounts listed in the Pandora Papers. Most of those voting against the motion said there was insufficient evidence to proceed to a trial. Only three members of Pachakutik joined Correista UNES assembly members in supporting the recommendation.
Conaie councilman Rafael Lucero went further than the council’s public statement and called Llori and other Pachakutik members “despicable and unworthy for not joining our UNES [Corresitas] brothers and sisters in the project to dismiss the president.”
Even before the Conaie censure, Conaie President Leonida Iza called Llori a “lackey for Lasso,” and said her support of the president will be “punished” by the indigenous people.
Although Pachakutik and Conaie are both dedicated to serving the interests of indigenous Ecuadorians, they have no direct connection.
According to former Pachakutik assemblyman and Conaie councilman Gustavo Barrera, the split between Conaie and Pachakutik is nothing new. “This has been going on for years and I am sure it will continue,” he said. “Conaie has the luxury of adhering to pure ideals and ideologies while Pachakutik must operate within the political arena, working with members of other parties that have different interests and objectives. If Pachakutik adhered to the edicts of Conaie, we would accomplish nothing.”
Barrera added that the Conaie council is following the Iza’s instructions, which he says do not represent the position of most of the indigenous population. “Although I know he cares about the indigenous movement, he makes it clear that he is a communist who believes the current system must be destroyed. Most indigenous reject this approach and understand we must work within the system to improve it.”