Correa strengthens the police state to exploit the forest – and blames the rest of the world?

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President Rafael Correa shows his true colours:

“”We will not allow any more invasions of oil installations or the blockage of roads,” said Correa while visiting the Amazon, home to an array of unique species.

The U.S.-educated economist added he understood the plight of poor jungle residents but that the rule of law had to be respected to safeguard the main revenue source of South America’s No 5 oil producer.

He said he would sign a decree to increase the military and police presence around oil facilities and allow those forces to shift protesters by force, Correa said.”

So now we know – Correa has serious dictator potential, he strengthens the already excessive powers of the police and military apparatus to prevent the marginalised and indigenous peoples from speaking their voice through action – and what else does a largely illiterate population have to speak with, if not their bodies and their concerted actions as a multitude? What are their means of expression if not direct action?

And there is more to it…..

 

In the same week as Correa in his internal politics makes it clear that he is the boss and the people can bugger off – the oil is his! – he tells the international community that Ecuador should be recompensated for not exploiting the oil:

“Ecuador says it will wait a year to see whether the international community takes its offer to forsake development of a giant oil field in the Amazon rainforest in exchange for compensation, reports the Environmental News Service (ENS).

“Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa says that if the country is compensated with half of the forecasted lost revenues, it will not exploit oil in Yasuni National Park, setting aside the area for wildlife and indigenous people. Correa said the cost would be about $350 million per year.”

So what will it be – military enforced oil drilling, -or not? Given the signed agreements with Brasil previously described here, it appears as a mere fake posing, which has been warmly welcomed by environmentalists as a unique opportunity for the world to save the rain forest, but are they not fooled? Is Correa perhaps playing on two horses just to win? Would he let down Lula and the Brasilian economy if “the World” pays up?

Since this is a blog and not the corporate press and since we here make no secret of our suspicions with regards to Mr. Correa’s (lacking or dubious) environmental consciousness, let us offer the suggestive conclusion that Correa – who has learned to smile as he kills – is simply playing a chess game: it is clear that he has extensive arrangements with Brasil on the go and it is clear that he knows that he will face substantial critique and opposition from the environmentalist movements of Ecuador’s civil society and from the environmentalist global civil society in general; so what to do?

The answer is simply a two-pronged Correan attack: first give the military powers to stop the marginalised people from expressing their discontent, and then distribute the responsibility for the destruction of the forest to the “international community”, whom, if they (who are they anyway?) do not pay up will be to blame for the drilling.

Smart move, Mr Correa – now we see your true colours and recognise your PhD in Economics from a USA university – you have it figured out with violent powers!

5 thoughts on “Correa strengthens the police state to exploit the forest – and blames the rest of the world?

    Home Sweet Home: Reflections on the Amazon - Part One of ? « colonos said:
    Friday, August 17, 2007 at 11:34 (524)

    […] is on the case to turn Ecuador into a modern, oil-refining country – and more power to the army, yet again, more power to the army. Power to the people he says, gives it to the army and to the elites that […]

    Rafael Correa: With God On Our Side « colonos said:
    Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 14:47 (657)

    […] Once more he is speaking as if the people who live in the Ecuadorean rain forest just don’t count….. […]

    What does a Christian of the Left do when the people protest? « colonos said:
    Friday, November 30, 2007 at 09:27 (435)

    […] was still in the early days of Correa’s presidency – back in April – that more powers were invested in the army and the police for these purposes – he obviously knew what the increased development with the Chinese partners in the Amazon would […]

    More repression in Ecuador.. « colonos said:
    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 19:07 (838)

    […] repression in Ecuador.. When Rafael Correa came into government he soon announced that he was investing more powers in the police and the military to repress popular protests, which […]

    […] project, IIRSA, will essentially destroy what is left of the Amazon. This has been addressed again and again by colonos with reference to the Manta-Manaus corridor and can easily be found by […]

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