Ecuador: Indigenous Water Rights Protest Met With Repression

On September 28th 2008, Ecuador joined countries throughout Latin American in passing a new, more progressive, Constitution. The new Magna Carta explicitly prohibits water privatization and recognizes the human right to water. Since debate began over a proposed water law, campesino and indigenous organizations have been mobilizing in support of a proposal that respects constitutional principles and the participation of Ecuador's diverse peoples, a concept called “plurinationality.” Yet despite repeated attempts at dialogue, indigenous and campesino proposals have not been adopted, prompting protests and highway blockades.

On Tuesday, protests were renewed as the National Assembly took up with the second and final debate over the law. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and their highland branch, ECUARUNARI, along with community water systems, have been leading marches and road blockades. The government’s answer has been repression, including the detention of five community leaders in the south who now face serious charges.

Ecuador Solidarity Network (ESN) has translated the following call for solidarity from the Coalition of Andean Indigenous Organizations (CAOI). If you have any questions or need further information, please contact ecuadorsolidaritynetwork@gmail.com.

Minga Informativa de Movimientos Sociales


Coalition of Andean Indigenous Organizations (CAOI)
Bolivia, Ecuador, PerĂº, Colombia, Chile, Argentina
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