Pachakutik Assembly members want partial veto of police powers law, blame Correistas for ‘sabotage’

Jun 9, 2022 | 2 comments

The Pachakutik National Assembly leader Salvador Quishpe is demanding that President Guillermo Lasso veto part of the new law granting police and other public security agents new powers to fight crime. “Our objection is to three articles of the law that allow greater force to be used in social protests,” he says. “The right to protest is protected by the constitution and the language in the new law violates the rights to resistance and peaceful social protest.”

Salvador Quishpe

According to Quishpe, articles 23, 24 and 25 “confuse common criminality with legitimate acts of social and political protest,” allowing police to identify acts they believe are not part of legitimate protests.

Quishpe lashed out at members of the Union of Hope (Unes) for voting for the law allowing the use of progressive force. “Just as in the case of the dismissal of the Assembly President [Guadalupe Llori], we see the effect of the agreement between the Correistas and President Lasso,” he said. “They deny it but the agreement to protect the president and further the agenda of Rafael Correa was ratified behind closed doors in March.”

On Thursday morning, Quishpe was joined in his criticism of the new law and the alleged deal between Lasso and UNES by three members of the governing council of the Ecuador Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas (Conaie).

Quishpe claims that “excessive force” was used against indigenous protestors during the Correa administration on several occasions. “He wanted to legalize heavy handed measures against protesters and we saw the result in 2015 and 2016, in Saraguro and Quito. This week, his followers in the Assembly helped pass these measures.”

He added that he still hopes that Pachakutik and Unes can work together on some legislative projects. “It appeared we had agreements in some areas of common interest but now this is in question. The door remains open but we consider it an act of sabotage that the Correistas supported measures against peaceful protest.”

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