On Wednesday, the administration of President Guillermo Lasso responded unfavorably to the request to initiate dialogue made by Leonidas Iza, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said the government will not allow itself to be conditioned by social organizations. In fact, this affirmation closes any immediate possibility of a solution to the national strike, which has been going on for 10 consecutive days.
"We are not going to allow them to condition us... Yesterday was extremely violent and that is the reason why we doubt the proposals for dialogue that the leaders want to make," he said.
Referring to the events that occurred in the province of Pastaza, where a young Indigenous man died as a result of a tear gas canister fired by the police, the Interior Minister blamed the Indigenous leaders for the events in Puyo City and discredited the social unrest.
Tear gas, stones and military pellets flew as indigenous demonstrators clashed with anti-riot personnel after Ecuador's armed forces warned they would not allow ongoing protests against President Guillermo Lasso's economic policies … pic.twitter.com/IodFCMp0HW— Trending News (@TrendingsForYou) June 22, 2022
"Carrillo said that some people who took part in the protests were drunk and classified the dialogue in Puyo as 'absolutely inefficient,'" Pichincha Comunicaciones reported.
Following an argumentative line that seeks to find scapegoats, the Interior Minister said that protests and "terrorist acts" were promoted by "radical groups" such as the Citizen Revolution (RC), a political movement created by former President Rafael Correa.
Immediately, the RC president Marcela Aguiñaga responded to those accusations, which were made without presenting any evidence. “Terrorism is vilely accusing us to cover up their incapacity and the violence with which they act and deepen the chaos in Ecuador,” she said
Ecuador's Ministry of Defense asserted that indigenous protests seek to "create panic with aggressions against companies". At the same time, indigenous protesters denounced the response of the police army corps with brutal repression that left at least one dead. #Ecuador pic.twitter.com/UdEcPqntLZ— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 22, 2022