More repression in Ecuador..

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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 is one of the main means of political expression for many largely illterate indigenous and campesino communities; and those powers are “well” used, Upside Down World writes:

The peaceful demonstration began at 5am was met with state repression around noon, leading to the arrest of 17 protestors, which include the parish priest of Victoria del Portete, dairy farmers, and University of Cuenca students. Approximately 80 soldiers blasted tear gas into to the crowd of protestors— around 300 strong. Female students report that they were later taken to a casino for police and forced to undress.
“We are here to defend the right to pure and clean water,” declared Miriam Chuchuka, a 36-year-old dairy farmer from Victoria del Portete. Small farmers fear that cyanide and mercury related to gold mining and production will pollute local water sources.

Local farmers draw drinking and irrigation water from the high paramo where Toronto-based Iamgold has discovered the second largest gold deposit in Ecuador. Protestors want the government to nullify Iamgold’s mineral concession.

Farmers and rural residents working under the National Coordinating Committee in Defense of Life and Sovereignty had staged a national twelve-hour protest to nullify four major gold and copper concessions in southern Ecuador. They oppose the stance of President Rafael Correa, who despite a leftist rhetoric, wants to develop large-scale export oriented gold and copper mining projects to finance education and healthcare programs. Residents in the path of these projects are concerned about their short and long-term environmental impacts.

Detained protestors were released the next day, but they may face sabotage and terrorism charges. In his nationally-syndicated radio show, President Correa lambasted the National Coordinating Committee and said that anti-mining protestors will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Anti-mining activists have said that Correa’s response threatens the right to dissent and criminalizes activism.”

It is therefore increasingly difficult to support the trajectory of Correa’s revolution or reform or whatever it should be termed; however, it is not an easy thing to walk the fine line of social and political change in a world run by greedy old white men in white houses – Prensa Latina writes:

“Ecuadorian writer and essayist Jaime Galarza warned that the life of President Rafael Correa is in danger because of his commitment to change and real independence for the Andean nation.

The presence of the US Central Intelligence Agency in the country will bring no good, “when Ecuadorians are aware that we finally want to be the free nation of which Eloy Alfaro dreamt,” Galarza said.

Correa´s denunciation that the CIA has penetrated Ecuadorian intelligence services poses a serious threat to his life, as CIA plans are never good, he highlighted.

“We Ecuadorians know perfectly well the bad consequences of the CIA presence, as one of our presidents, Jaime Roldos Aguilera, was killed by that agency in an alleged aircraft accident in 1981, for raising his voice against the empire,” the writer stressed.

When speaking during an act in the capital, Galarza warned of shady CIA actions in Ecuador in last decades, and of the US intention to prolong its presence at the Manta base and turn it into another Guantanamo, a Cuban territory illegally occupied by the US.


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