Ecuador: National Strike Demonstrators Defy State of Emergency

Ecuador: National Strike Demonstrators Defy State of Emergency

The national strike, called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), continues this Sunday, in a context in which at least six sectors of the capital, Quito, remain closed due to protests and the Government ratifies its decision to maintain the state of emergency.

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Protests continue despite the declaration of a state of emergency in Pichincha, Cotopaxi and Imbabura. In fact, the president of CONAIE, Leonidas Iza, ratified that «the strike continues at the national and territorial level and with an indefinite character, with a clear agenda of 10 issues» which have been presented to the Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso.

#Ecuador | Hundreds of citizens continue to protest on the 7th day of the national strike. Indigenous authorities assured that the demonstrations will continue until President Guillermo Lasso offers a concrete solution to 10 specific points, mostly economic.
�� @confeniae1 pic.twitter.com/c7BoL5QzNw

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish)
June 19, 2022



In the meantime, the National Police, by order of the Attorney General’s Office, raided the national headquarters of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, in Quito. 

According to the Attorney General’s Office, an anonymous call was received, supposedly alerting them of the existence in the premises of a group of 30 people, nationals and foreigners, that were storing war material, such as explosives and handmade weapons. These items would be used in the demonstrations during the next few days, to hold police and military, and enter the headquarters of the Presidency of the Republic.

In response, CONAIE says that this was an operation carried out «with astonishing agility after an anonymous call», in which, in reality, «the Government raids cultural democratic spaces, imprisons and attacks social leaders and criminalizes the National Strike».

Ecuador Day 7 National Strike

Police in Quito take over Casa de la Cultura, a humanitarian space that was the central base for Indigenous movement in massive 2019 protests, where they slept, ate, gathered etc

Casa director: «Requisitioning the space is entering a dictatorship» https://t.co/aB22c8RVDf

— Kimberley Brown (@KimberleyJBrown)
June 20, 2022



This space, the president of the Casa de la Cultura, Fernando Cerón denounced, sheltered citizens during the demonstrations of October 2019, in a humanitarian act, in response to what he called excessive police repression.

Several artists, cultural managers and political actors assure that it is part of the criminalization of the protests carried out by the National Government, so they reject this raid.

CONAIE has also insisted on requesting the National Assembly, which meets this Monday in plenary session, not to become an accomplice of the Government and repeal the decree by which President Guillermo Lasso imposed the State of Emergency, which they described as a “desperate act”.

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