They demand that the government freeze the price of fuel and respect workers’ rights.
Representatives of the National Collective of Direction of the Plurinational Parliament of the Peoples – which groups together Conaie, Feine, Fenocin, Fut, and the Popular Front – announced that they will mobilize next Tuesday, October 26.
At a press conference Monday morning, October 18, 2021, the Collective said that they will take to the streets to demand that the national government freeze the price of fuel, fulfill the promises it has made to the peasant movement, and respect the rights of workers.
- The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie)
- The Council of Evangelical Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Ecuador (Feine)
- The National Confederation of Peasant, Indigenous and Black Organizations (Fenocin)
- The Unitary Front of Workers (FUT)
- The Popular Front
Why are they going to mobilize?
The president of Conaie, Leonidas Iza, said that they will mobilize because although they have participated in different spaces for dialogue with the national government, and yet there is no response to their demands. “Faced with urgent issues in economic matters, there is no result,” said Iza.
Eustaquio Tuala, president of the Feine, said that one of the main reasons why they will take to the streets is the increase in the cost of fuel. The issue of the permanent fuel hike “hurts all Ecuadorians except millionaires,” said Tuala.
Regarding the fuel increase, Hatary Sarango, vice president of Fenocin said that the increase affects women, housewives, peasants, and all Ecuadorians because it means an increase in the price of the basic food basket.
Sarango also said that another problem is that fair prices are not being paid to farmers, and that this has to change. From Fenocin and all other social organizations, said the leader, “we will demand that the products of the field be welcomed at a fair price.”
In his election campaign, Lasso had promised that he would maintain the prices of agricultural products. However, several representatives of the sector say that he did not.
Rice used to sell for $42 per bale, but now it sells for $32, according to Rafael Santos, coordinator of the Daule Agricultural Center.
Due to the depreciation of agricultural products, today farmers throughout the country paralyzed their activities and closed several roads.
On the other hand, the workers’ sector also has its demands. Angel Sanchez, president of the FUT said it will mobilize against the laws of economic urgency that the president plans to present to the Assembly.
According to Sánchez, these two projects that stem from the Creating Opportunities bill violate the rights of workers and they will not accept them. The president of the FUT also announced that this week the organization will present to the National Assembly a project on a new Organic Labor Code that “will provide stability to workers.”
What else did they say?
Leonidas Iza said that they will make use of their right to resistance “in a planned manner with the citizens in a comprehensive manner.”
He also said that what has been proposed is “a mobilization, not a stoppage, not a closure” like the strike of framers today.
However, he did not rule out that the mobilizations could turn into a strike. Iza said that everything will depend on how the government responds to its actions.
Eustaquio Tuala, president of La Feine, said that President Guillermo Lasso “has forgotten about us” and that they have been forced to exercise the right to resistance because the government does not listen or respond.
“When we do not agree with something, we have to protest,” said Tuala and he assured that they are willing to hold dialogues with the government, but as long as they commit to taking action.
Fenocin’s vice president, Hatary Sarango, also agreed with the other leaders’ arguments regarding the dialogue. Sarango said that the dialogues with the government cannot be only formal and that is why the members of Fenocin will continue to “fight, defending peace, democracy, and the rights” of all Ecuadorians.
Nelson Erazo, president of the Popular Front, said that it seems that the government is not interested in what the people think and said that the mobilizations will continue “if they continue to insist on applying policies” that harm the most vulnerable sectors.
Finally, Leonidas Iza demanded that President Lasso “listen to the clamor of the people” and “stop inventing ghosts of this supposed triumvirate of destabilization.”
None of the representatives gave details about what time they plan to mobilize on October 26, however they insisted that the mobilization will be at the national level.