CONAIE Presents Demands of Indigenous Peoples at National Assembly of Ecuador


Press Release

For Immediate Release
Date:  Tuesday June 22, 2010
Contact: Tupac Enrique Acosta  [Ecuador] 095061301

From Quito to Cancun: The Declaration of Interdependence

Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador presents demands for Halt to Extractive Resource Mining in the Amazon and for Constitutional Reformation of Ecuador as a
Pluri-national State at the National Assembly in Quito

 Quito, Ecuador – Acting in representation of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), president Marlon Santi delivered a petition yesterday to the President of the National Assembly of Ecuador demanding recognition, respect, and constitutional protection for the Territorial Rights, Rights of Self Government, and the Right of Self Determination of the Nations and Pueblos of the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador.

The delivery of the demands, presented on the floor of the National Assembly came after a two week trek by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFEINIAE) to the Andean highlands of Quito, with pregnant women forming part of the delegation, and within the context of a continental celebration of the historic 1990 Indigenous Uprising in Ecuador.  The 1990 Indigenous Uprising, which paralyzed the entire country as thousands of Indigenous Peoples across Ecuador blocked roads and took direct action to address the demand to bring an end to racism and colonization of the Indigenous Nations, set the stage for the 1992 continental resistance by Indigenous Peoples in opposition to the plans to glorify the genocide of Indigenous Peoples via the Columbus Quincentennial Celebrations organized by the government states of the Americas.

Presenting themselves as the legitimate representatives of the voice of the Indigenous Governments, the CONAIE moves once again into the forefront of the continental indigenous movement, challenging now what has been termed the “Divine Right of States” in reference to the policy of government states in the Americas to assume plenary powers of state control and licensing for extractive mining over the natural resources in the territories of the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples.  Of particular and priority concern is the national legislation in Ecuador regarding the water systems of the country, and the international regional mega-projects of resource exploitation including water systems which are threatening the sustainability of the ecology and self determination of Indigenous Peoples.

A principle demand of the CONFEINIAE is to call for halt to mining and petroleum extraction in the Amazon.  The Shuar Nation, members of the Confederacy of the Boa has vowed to battle to the death to protect their territories in defense of the Pachamama (Mother Earth).

Moving into the frame of a meeting of the ALBA countries to take place in Otavalo this week, the Indigenous Continental Movement is consolidating a proposal for effective engagement and rectification with the global economy based on respect for the Rights of Mother Earth.

The ALBA, Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América groups together an economic bloc associated with socialist and social democratic governments and is an attempt at regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid, rather than trade liberalization as with free trade agreements.  ALBA nations are in the process of introducing a new regional currency, the SUCRE. It is intended to be the common virtual currency by 2010 and eventually a hard currency.

A continental economic development strategy based not on the concept of “Development” but instead on the Indigenous Peoples concepts of Sumak Kawsay, “Living with wellness” is in the process of articulation.  A first phase in the articulation of the plan begins with the Protection of Sacred Sites, Waterways, recognition of the Rights of Migratory Workers, along with implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples continentally with a fundamental recognition of mutual obligations and shared responsibilities to protect the Rights of Mother Earth.

The hosting of the ALBA meeting in Ecuador at a time when the Indigenous Peoples of the country are in open conflict with the policies of the government of President Rafael Correa, presents a challenge by the Indigenous Peoples demanding clarification of criteria in the process of defining of economic development policies by the government states in Latin American.

The diverse representations of Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of the continent from Canada to Tierra del Fuego who attended the Kuntur Anka Pachacutic last week here in Ecuador, are calling for realization and the exercise of the Right of Self Determination in this process of clarifying criteria by proclaiming the Protocols of Cochabamba as a fundamental standard of relationship to the Mother Earth and the natural world, from a local to global context that originates with the ancestral and sacred relationship of the Indigenous Peoples to their territories and responsibilities as caretakers and defenders of the Rights of Mother Earth.  The Protocols of Cochabamba are derivatives of the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia in April of 2010.

Realization and implementation of the Cochabamba Protocols begins to address the root cause of global colonization, namely the commodification and privatization of the material world that has driven the global economy to climate crisis, including global warming caused by capitalistic industrial development, exploitive economic practices and terracide.  In complement to this process, TONATIERRA has communicated directly to the leadership of the CONAIE the Declaration of Interdependence which was proclaimed in Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2010 subsequent to the National March for Human Rights which drew 100,000 participants in condemnation of the officialization of racial profiling by state authorities.

The Declaration of Interdependence is a CHACANA (organic conceptual formation) of four ecological principles that projects Respect, Inclusivity, Complementarity, and Self Determination as essential elements for the holistic realization of the Right of Self Determination for Humanity, and as a necessary platform for effective grassroots global strategy to address the issues of climate change, global warming, climate chaos and the Rights of Mother Earth.

To this end, the CONAIE has announced a parallel encounter during the ALBA event in Otavalo, Ecuador this week and has made compact with the Continental Council of the Confederacy of Nations and Pueblos of Abya Yala to advance from the traditional jurisdictions of the Kuntur Anka Pachacutic to exercise the implementation of the Cochabamba Protocols, via the CHACANA of the Declaration of Interdependence.  Regional actions of implementation by the Nations and Pueblos of Abya Yala will continue to press forward continentally and globally with intentions of bringing the process of clarification of criteria to the next global Conference of the Parties (COP16) of the UN Climate Change conference to be in November in Cancun, Mexico.



El Levantamiento Indigena de Ecuador 1990-2010


Kuntur Anka Pachacutic

Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador – CONAIE

World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth


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