Strike talks to restart with the Catholic church as moderator; Ground rules are yet to be determined

Jun 30, 2022 | 3 comments

Government Minister Francisco Jiménez announced late Wednesday that President Guillermo Lasso has agreed to a proposal by the Catholic Church to resume negotiations with indigenous organizations to end the 18-day-old anti-government strike.

Government Minister Francisco Jiménez

“In order to restore tranquility to the Ecuadorian people, we have decided to accept the mediation process that the Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church has proposed,” Jiménez said. The announcement came a day after an angry Lasso broke off talks moderated by National Assembly President Virgilio Saquicela in which Lasso blamed strikers for a deadly truck convoy ambush in the Amazon. The president also accused Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities President Leonidas Iza for promoting a “personal political agenda” over the interests of indigenous people.

Jiménez said the place and time of the new talks are yet to be determined. “There will also be new ground rules for the talks determined in discussions between the church, the government and the indigenous movement.” He added that Saquicela, who voted to impeach Lasso Tuesday night, will not be involved in negotiations. “New talks will be fair and impartial and not favor one side or the other,” he said.

It was not clear whether the government will agree to allow Iza to be involved in the new talks following Lasso’s Tuesday comments. “We will work directly with the church in determining how the negotiations will proceed,” Jiménez said. “No one will dictate rules and conditions to us that we did not agree with.”


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