Beginning of the signing of the Act
Nobody knows the subsequent impact that this signed Act will have… Although we know that after every act of pacification comes the political and legal chastisement against the indigenous leaders (as happened in 2019). The only certainty is that the difficult situation of the peoples of Ecuador is a product of mediation and Christian indoctrination continued in 5 centuries of colonialism.
When the clock struck 14:30 hours, in Ecuador, leaders of the indigenous and peasant organizations, organized in the CONAIE, under the leadership of Leonidas Iza, president of this parent organization of the country, proceeded to sign the Act of pacification, after 18 days of social mobilization with fatal consequences.
What did they demand with the social outburst?
Among the political demands that paralyzed the cities of Ecuador were: the cessation of neoliberal privatization and extractivist policies, citizen security measures, recognition of the autonomy of indigenous territories, fuel reduction (40 cents on the dollar per gallon), labor rights, bank moratorium, increase in the price of peasant products, etc.
18 consecutive days of intense and apotheosis social mobilizations, with dozens of wounded, hundreds of detainees, 5 deaths,… concluded, similar to the “social outburst” of 2019, with the signing of an Act that promises almost nothing, without major measurable and enforceable mechanisms.
“We have to be responsible with the country. It has already been 18 days of mobilizations… Today, we have to solve this…”, Leonidas Iza harangued, under the watchful eye of the Catholic Hierarchy, an entity that, as in the times of the European and Republican colony, played judge and party in this “confusing epilogue” of the social revolts that promised, just a moment ago, to go “to the last consequences”.
Peace, understanding, reconciliation, democracy, etc., were the words that were repeated in the quasi-liturgical atmosphere in the mouths of indigenous leaders who until a few moments ago were haranguing to resistance, disobedience, rebellion, …, before the “insensitive neoliberal banker ruler”.
The popular sectors were in the streets for 18 days demanding to be heard by the ruler Lasso. But he only sent his emissary minister of government, Francisco Jimenez, to sign the act of “surrender” with the daring insubordinate plebs.
The Catholic Hierarchy, as in immemorial times, already brought a complete document that was read and signed by the uprising indigenous parishioners. It looked like a Papal Bull whose content did not admit any opinion against, much less abstention in its rubric.
What was really achieved?
The historic achievement that CONAIE obtained with the sacrificed 18 days of social mobilization was the reduction of 15 cents on the dollar for each gallon of fuel. It is the only measurable and quantifiable audible thing that was heard in the reading of the Act.
In Guatemala, the unpopular neoliberal government of Alejandro Giammattei, without the need for any social mobilization, reduced (subsidized) the price of a gallon of fuel by almost a dollar. In El Salvador, President Bukele, without the need for social protest, reduced the price of a gallon of fuel by 40 cents on the dollar. Both cases are recent.
The issues of privatization, mining, consent and self-determination of peoples, labor rights, etc. were not included in the Act of pacification. This document, by the way, by its adjectivation and reference, already categorizes (implicitly) the recent indigenous social outburst as “violent acts”. Therefore, the president of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference, as if to ratify the supposed innocence of President Guillermo Lasso in this social conflict, reiterated: “It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to build peace”. The historical Christian method of annulling the indigenous from their condition of subject “making them feel guilty of the barbarism of their bosses”.
In this way, in the absence of President Lasso, indigenous rebels signed a pacification act that ratifies and strengthens the neoliberal arrogance in Ecuador. Even without taking the necessary time to return to the communities, evaluate the contents and decide in assemblies whether or not to sign the Act.
No one knows the subsequent impact that this signed Act will have… Although we know that after every act of pacification comes the political and legal chastisement against the indigenous leaders (as happened in 2019). The only certainty is that the plight of the peoples of Ecuador, is the product of mediation and Christian indoctrination continued in 5 centuries of colonialism. And, as long as the peoples do not know their history and are not aware of it, they will hardly overcome the weight of Sisyphus’ misfortune.