The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) stands with the people of Ecuador after the historic victory of the 12-day national protest, mainly led by the Indigenous Peoples, against the neoliberal policies of Pres. Lenin Moreno’s government dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Around 20,000 Ecuadorians from north and south of the country, including those coming Indigenous communities, marched towards the capital Quito amid heightened military and police repression following the declaration of the State of Exception (60-day cancellation of the rights to hold meetings and protests). The declaration heavily militarized Quito and neighbouring areas. Regional mobilizations, transport strikes, and road blockades have also been carried on by indigenous, peasant and people’s movements months before the national protest.

The Ecuadorian Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (CONAIE) denounced State’s violent measures that resulted in 2,000 injured, 1,000 prisoners, 10 killed, 100 missing, and human rights violations, and the death of indigenous leader Inocencio Tucumbi. During the national strike, the government also arrested opposition figures, employed mass detentions of protesters, arbitrary arrests, torture, and repression of media outfits that reported on what’s happening on the ground.

At the heart of the national strike is the militancy of Ecuadorian people – the workers, trade unions, indigenous and student organizations – against the imposition of “Paquetazo” (package) as part of the Moreno government’s commitment to the $4.2 billion IMF loan. Part of this IMF loan is the conditionality to implement Decree 883 that will remove state subsidies on diesel and gasoline, increasing the prices of goods and commodities. Due to the massive action of Ecuadorian people, the government rescinded the said decree in a televised talk of Moreno and Indigenous leaders.

Still, the fight is far from over as government is still set to increase people’s taxes while eliminating tax hurdles and restrictions for foreign capital to come and go from the country, flexibility, and deregulation of work resulting in wage cuts and labor insecurity, and privatization of public utilities among others under the signed agreement with US-led IMF.

IPMSDL stands that the Ecuadorian peoples’ rejection of US-led IMF’s neoliberal agenda, including austerity measures, trade, and investment liberalization, privatization of social services and state assets, and deregulation of key sectors, is just and urgent to assert their rights. Amid the invasion of multinational mining corporations, dam projects and foreign agribusiness in indigenous lands, these additional attacks of the IMF’s bankrupt neoliberal agenda only systematize the growing inequality between the rich and marginalized sectors and exacerbates human rights violations.

We salute the courage of the people of Ecuador that sparked solidarity from Indigenous communities across Latin America, in the Amazon, and across the world, facing the common struggle against political and economic havoc brought by State fascism, imperialist powers, and institutions.

We enjoin everyone to remain vigilant as IMF-dictated programs are still in place. Let us also unite in calling for immediate and independent investigation for those killed, arrested, missing and injured. Let us continue to demand accountability and justice from IMF and the Moreno government as protesters and organizations remain targeted with criminal charges, tagged as terrorists, attacked by legal cases and harassed by State forces after the national protest.

In the face of intensified repression and neoliberal offensives, our collective action is our greatest weapon. The people united will never be defeated!

Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator

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