Indigenous anger

Uprising, take seven.

Now in power for a little more than three years, President Rafael Correa’s administration is getting a little long in the tooth by Ecuadorean standards. In the last 18 years, only one Ecuadorean president has made it all the way through his four year term, and none of the other presidents out of the eight (!) that served during that time period made it through three years.

So it might be significant that the powerful indigenous organization Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) is breaking off negotiations with the government and calling for a “plurinational uprising.” Reports Dow Jones Newswire:

Delfin Tenesaca, head of the Ecuadorian Confederation of Kichwa Nationalities, or ECUARUNARI, a CONAIE arm, told Dow Jones Newswires that indigenous people “will start to implement a plurinational state with our own rules in each of our communities.”

The CONAIE played an important role in the overthrow of former presidents Abdala Bucaram and Jamil Mahuad in the late 1990s and in 2000.

Yikes. According to the statement published on CONAIE’s Web site, they are very, very upset with the government for furthering the kind of hydrocarbon-centric policies that have set off similar national uproars in the past:

The government of the “citizen revolution” and “21st century socialism” has not changed the colonial state and continued to strengthen the neo-liberal capitalist model, betraying the people of Ecuador, the communes, the communities, the villages, the indigenous nationalities, the Afro-Ecuadoreans, and the coastal peoples.

In the end, this is the truest thing anyone’s ever said of the ChA?vez’-led “socialism” that swept through South America in the 2000s. The “revolution” is all talk, based as it is on the extraction of hydrocarbons, which is the most capitalist thing there is.

I hope Correa is wearing a helmet.

(Note: The Dow Jones article is behind a nasty paywall. Another story on the breaking off of dialogue can be found in the Latin American Herald Tribune.)

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