The leader of the Conaie recognized internal differences in the indigenous movement

The leader of the Conaie recognized internal differences in the indigenous movement

Leonidas Iza was the visible face in the latest protests in Ecuador
Leonidas Iza was the visible face in the latest protests in Ecuador

The Ecuadorian indigenous movement is suffering from the attitude of some of its representatives in the National Assembly (AN, Parliament), who support the “neoliberal policies” of the Government, admitted the head of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), Leonidas Iza, who differentiated that position from that of other leaders who maintain unity.

“There is a very important deterioration in the differentiation between the actions of the indigenous movement and a group of assembly members (of the Pachakutik party, the political arm of Conaie) who, under the pretext of anything, collaborated directly to support neoliberal policies. That has meant for wear and tear on us,” Iza acknowledged.

The organization has just sustained 18 days of strike and demonstrations against the Government of Guillermo Lasso, until the signing of an agreement, on Thursday, June 30.

In an interview with the Sputnik agency, Iza maintained that within Pachakutik there are assembly members and leaders who have different positions from that of Conaie, but that there is an “organic unity” in the indigenous movement, despite some “differentiated criteria” with the “party leadership.”

“But there is a difference in some leaders and assembly members, where, due to a lack of criteria, they have remained doing politics based on memory, blaming correismo, scenarios that have already happened”he expressed.

For Iza, some leaders of Pachakutik support the neoliberal government Photo AFP
For Iza, some Pachakutik leaders support the “neoliberal government.” Photo: AFP

For the leader, “Those who are speaking in the name of the indigenous movement, excusing themselves against Correismo, the only thing they are doing is maintaining the hegemony of the right-wing political parties and the sectors of the neoliberal economy.”

And he was blunt in evaluating that “if they defend the neoliberal economy, they should distance themselves from the movement”, because “collectively” there is a “fight against the neoliberal policies that have flagellated the rights” of the sector.

Pachakutik’s support for President Lasso in the last elections was key for the former banker to win the second round against the Revolution Citizen party of former President Rafael Correa.

The indigenous party’s candidate, Yaku Pérez, came third in the first round.

The bad relationship between Conaie and part of Pachakutik, represented by Peréz, was made evident when the former presidential candidate claimed that Correa’s movement “infiltrated the leadership of the indigenous movement” during the protests.

Iza replied even ironically: “They will never be able to demonstrate the relationship with Correismo. The movement defined independence from political parties. Debate must be privileged, not gossip,” he said.

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