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Ecuador: CONAIE Will Demand Elimination of Mining Activities in Indigenous Lands
Created 2008-02-11 23:42
The new president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Marlon Santi, said on Friday that they would ask the Constituent Assembly to eliminate all mining activities in indigenous territories. He added that he will ask to meet with the Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa, to discuss this and other issues related with the indigenous lands, natural resources and indigenous autonomous governments.
These matters are of great concern for the Ecuadorian indigenous movement, so CONAIE will mobilize -in late February or early March- to Montecristi town to submit proposals to the Constituent Assembly, while it is meeting to write a new Constitution for the country.
Santi told Radio Quito of Ecuador that the indigenous mobilization will take place and that they are open to talk with the government. But he said that if the indigenous peoples’ demands were not taken into account by Correa’s administration and the Assembly, CONAIE would consider organizing new demonstrations.
The leader also confirmed his commitment of strenghtening the indigenous movement and warned Pachakutik, CONAIE’s political arm, that unless it acts for the interests of the native peoples, there will be sanctions.
The Kichwa indigenous took office as CONAIE’s president on January 31st, replacing Luis Macas. He will hold that position until December of 2011.
In his inauguration ceremony held in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, Santi said there will be a national demonstration of all the groups to defend land, the territory and the natural resources. He urged Correa’s government and the Constituent Assembly to prevent the transnational corporations from stealing water, oil, minerals and biodiversity from indigenous lands.
Santi demanded the immediate demilitarization of the indigenous lands and said: “We are watching the process to expel the US army from Manta base, as well as the intention of signing any international trade agreement without the people’s consent”.
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