Thousands of indigenous people on Monday began a peaceful march against rising fuel prices. They also denounce the lack of jobs and the granting of mining concessions in indigenous territories.
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The dialogue is at a standstill. In Ecuador, on the ninth day of indigenous mobilization against rising fuel prices, the Minister of Defence, Luis Lara, accused, Tuesday, June 21, the demonstrators of representing a “grave danger” for democracy. The powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) has been organizing marches and barricades since June 13 to demand a drop in fuel prices.
“Democracy in Ecuador is in serious danger from the concerted action of fanatics who prevent the free movement of the majority of Ecuadorians”said Luis Lara, in a statement alongside representatives of the army. “The Armed Forces will not permit attempts to break the constitutional order or any action against democracy and the laws of the Republic”added the minister, who was speaking at the Ministry of Defense, in Quito.
Thousands of indigenous people began a peaceful march towards the center of the capital on Monday, from Cutuglagua, one of the two southern entrances. Several hundred people also arrived from the north. In addition to the price of fuel, the demonstrators denounce the lack of jobs and the granting of mining concessions in indigenous territories. They demand a control of the prices of agricultural products and a renegotiation of the debts of the peasants with the banks.
In Parliament, the deputies approved Monday evening by 81 votes out of 137 a resolution which requires a government proposal for dialogue “serious, clear and honest” and calls for a round table including the UN, the Red Cross, universities and the Catholic Church to seek solutions to the crisis. The indigenous Pachakutik party, political arm of Conaie, is the second force in Parliament. Indigenous peoples make up at least one million of the 17.7 million Ecuadorians.