The Women of the Amazon Have Come in Peace

Photo credit: Amazon Watch

Original Spanish version here

Quito, Ecuador – We are women of peace, defenders of our territories and our families. We are making this statement after much pain and indignation, witnessing so much inhuman repression, and after many days of suffering, racism and violence against our brothers and sisters who participate in the National Strike, where people are demonstrating in cities, on roads, and in communities. We have witnessed the violence perpetrated by the Ecuadorian government against the indigenous peoples who are mobilizing. As of now, the Ombudsman of Ecuador recognizes that five people have died at the hands of the police and armed forces, around 100 people have been seriously injured, more than 1,000 detainees, through the exercise of indiscriminate and armed violence against women and children who were seeking protection and resting in centers of peace.

We have come because our lands, our home has been plundered for decades by governments and companies who have conducted business, without consideration for our voices and our lives.

We have not come to meet violence with violence, nor to cause destruction. We want to build a society and a country where our rights are respected. We want a country where we don't have to live in fear that our lands will be destroyed, our rivers will be polluted, our forests will be cut down. Where we never have to be afraid of our children being discriminated against and excluded in their own lands! We want to live with DIGNITY and a GOOD future for our children!

We women have come in peace but the government, as always, received us again with violence. Therefore:

WE REJECT yesterday's tear gas bombings and attacks on women and children, who peacefully protested with songs outside the National Assembly, after President Lenin Moreno called for dialogue.

WE ANNOUNCE that the "call for dialogue" has only been to deceive and distract public opinion in order to continue to exert violence, not an honest dialogue that truly seeks peace.

WE HOLD the Ecuadorian government RESPONSIBLE for the deaths and injuries of our brothers and sisters due to the violence and brutality perpetrated by the armed forces and the police.

WE DEMAND the Ecuadorian government act towards peace and listen to our demands.

WE INVITE the country and the international community to exert all possible pressure so that this ends and the full rights of the indigenous peoples and the Ecuadorians are restored.

And, we ask international organizations and human rights organizations to act to help stop this and prevent further deaths of our people.

Sincerely,

Women of the Amazon, defenders of the rainforest and life

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