CONAIE Statement on the Militarization of Shuar Territory and the Detention of Agustín Wachapá


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Original en español

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, with regard to the militarization of the territory of the Shuar nation and the detention of our colleague Agustín Wachapá, president of the Interprovincial Federation of Shuar Peoples, FICSH, states the following:

  • The detention of colleague Agustín Wachapá is arbitrary since he was apprehended ignoring his rights as a Shuar Indigenous person. In addition, he was beaten and denigrated, demonstrating the racism and violence of the State towards Indigenous Peoples. We demand the release of Agustín Wachapá and that of the additional five prisoners in the Nankints case.
  • The [current] violence has an origin and that is the action of the State to allow the entry of Chinese mining companies without Free and Informed Prior Consultation. The government talks about complying with the rule of law; we therefore demand that it complies with the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities and the Rights of Nature that are enshrined in the Constitution and in international agreements (Convention 169-ILO), which also form part of the Constitution.
  • The government of Rafael Correa is pushing the Armed Forces to play a role that we have never seen before, not even in times of dictatorship. The Indigenous movement in the history of the country has maintained a respectful relationship with the Armed Forces. In fact, many Shuar brothers fought in the war with Peru alongside the Armed Forces to defend the Condor Mountain Range, the territory that has now been handed over to Chinese and Canadian mining companies.
  • We know that the Armed Forces would be willing to find other solutions to the conflict that do not include repressive actions against the Ecuadorian people. This is demonstrated by what happened in Sarayaku, where there was a dialogue, which president Correa ignored and undermined, provoking more conflict and confirming his arrogant and racist character.
  • President Correa is unable to resolve conflicts except through authoritarianism, violence and violation of rights, which is leading the country to a situation of serious confrontation.
  • The State of Emergency is unconstitutional as it is generating more violence and conflict than that which it purported to solve. It shows clearly that the government is willing to jeopardize the stability of the country to ensure the Chinese mining companies security and ability to extract resources and earn money. Capital over the human being. The military is not defending the security of the population, but rather the transnational corporations that have purchased licenses [to exploit] to large hectares of Ecuadorian territory as private property.
  • As CONAIE we ask for a solution to the conflict that does not include the militarization of territory and society. The government must listen to the legitimate demands of the Indigenous people, must respect our rights and the rights of nature. We demand an end to the persecution and arbitrary arrest of Indigenous and campesinos in Morona Santiago and throughout the country solely for defending their rights.
  • In recent days, CONAIE has reiterated the request to the new in-country Coordinator of the UN to mediate under the auspices of a Conflict-Mediations Commission. We also call on the Catholic Church to intervene in this Commission.

We again confirm our willingness to seek a solution to conflict and to stop the violence generated by a series of actions by the state and mining companies in the territories.

We are grateful for the solidarity of the Ecuadorian people and Indigenous peoples' organizations, human rights throughout Latin America and the world, and call on the international community to be alert and vigilant to what happens in Ecuador, especially with our sisters and brothers of Shuar Nationality whose territory, life, and survival are in danger.


On Behalf the CONAIE Governing Council

Jorge Herrera

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