Home > Americas, Latin America, Politics > The Indigenous Movement and Correa in Ecuador

The Indigenous Movement and Correa in Ecuador

Federico Fuentes writes in the Green Left Weekly (via ZNet):

When Rafael Correa was elected president of Ecuador in 2006, campaigning on a strong anti-neoliberal platform to bring about a “citizen’s revolution”, one key social force seemed notably absent from his campaign — the country’s powerful indigenous movement.

For over a decade, Ecuador’s indigenous people — who make up over 40% of the population — were central to national politics as the key protagonists in a new wave of struggle that toppled several presidents.

Luis Macas, indigenous candidate for Pachakutik and a leader of CONAIE, which unites the different indigenous organisations and nations, garnered less than 3% of votes in the first round of the presidential election — a far cry from the 20% obtained in Pachakutik’s first electoral campaign in 1996. In the second round Pachakutik endorsed Correa, but played a marginal role in the victory for a candidate who has since begun to act on many of the movement’s key demands, particular the convocation of a Constituent Assembly.

Speaking to Green Left Weekly during a visit to Caracas in July as an invited guest of the Miranda International Center (CIM), Blanca Chancoso, a well-respected protagonist of the indigenous movement and leader of the indigenous organisation ECUARUNARI, explained the somewhat contradictory nature of the relationship between Correa and the indigenous movement.

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