archivos de los protestos globales
archives of global protests

Urgent Letter From Ecuador

 --- campamento internacional
> Betreff: Urgent Letter From Ecuador
> Datum: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 12:12:28 -0500
> An urgent message to all international organizations
> and networks for your 
> assistance in our collective effort to STOP PLAN
> COLOMBIA and the FTAA.
> Comrades,
> From Ecuador, scene of a genocidal war, we send you
> greetings in solidarity
> from the Permanent International Camp for Social
> Justice and the Dignity of
> the Peoples. We are writing to update you about our
> emergency situation, both 
> political and financial, as the potential for our
> crucial actions planned
> against the FTAA and Plan Colombia unfold amidst
> increased military 
> repression.  As always, our commitment and struggle
> are permanent in the face 
> of the cruel stupidity of our government to involve
> us in this interventionist
> war against our land and peoples. 
> Today, more than ever, we must insist: Our cry will
> be heard!
> In the urgent push to realize the potential of our
> actions planned for less 
> than two weeks away... We feel it is important to
> alert you of the dire 
> financial situation that could prevent the
> mobilization of over two thousand 
> campesinos that are prepared to participate in this
> week of collaborative 
> direct action. To finance buses going to the
> locations that the encampments 
> will be taking place,we need to raise at least 5000
> u.s. dollars. We regret to announce 
> that for this crucial and diverse gathering of
> resistance we do not have the financial 
> capabilities to ensure a strong movilization against
> the US military base in Manta.
> This convergence will happen no matter, but the
> potential to mobilize all that wish to 
> be heard is hanging by a thread. We expect a small
> amount of funds to come from the 
> many international participants that will be
> attending, but there are literally a couple 
> thousand of potential participants that do not have
> the ability to pay.  We ask that 
> you please consider the effectiveness of a major
> action in the Andean region against 
> American imperialism in at this point in time, and
> assist us in our struggle to patch together 
> funds to bring this potential to reality.
> At the moment, we are expecting about 1000
> participants in Quito and possibly many more in
> Manta,
> sight of the US military base and Lago Agrio, on the
> border with Colombia. As of yesterday, over 300 
> international participants from Peru, Colombia,
> Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, United
> States, Canada, Irland, England, Italy, Spain,
> Germany, France, Sweden and Finland have signed 
> up to participate. The majority of the international
> participants are from Colombia who are making 
> great sacrificies to make the journey to Quito in
> order to articulate our resistences and
> alternatives. 
> Moreover, this is a crucial step that must be taken
> in order for there to be a strong resistence to the
> FTAA meeting that will take place in Quito at the
> beginning of November.
> For more information about this international
> encampment please visit our 
> website at 
> To make a contribution to this effort please contact
> us though our email 
> The political context in which we are developing the
> Camp continues to gain 
> complexity. In the face of this we are working to
> ensure that the camps are a 
> functional and safe space for the enrichment of
> international, regional and 
> local movements as well as the construction of
> alternatives to the plans of death that 
> Plan Colombia and ALCA represent for our peoples.
> As of last week, the Amazon provinces of Sucumbios
> (where the Camp is planned
> to take place) and Orellana were on strike.  Their
> demands have been that their
> power company not be privatized and reparations for
> the damages caused by the
> construction of the OCP crude oil pipeline. OCP
> continues to not comply with 
> their own minimal commitmant of infrastructural
> assistance, meanwhile leaving 
> behind grave ecological damage.
> The Ecuadoran goverment declared a state of military
> emergency and imposed
> curfew and martial law in these provinces.  At
> first, the media claimed that
> this was because of the intensification of the
> conflict in Colombia. Two days
> later, they admitted that it was because of the
> strike.  At the same time the
> minister of the interior Marcelo Merlo, declared
> that this strike is the work
> of subversive terrorists.  The situation is tense
> and  there have been several
> deaths.  The comrades from Sucumbios y Orellana
> simply want to bring their
> issues to the table to find a solution. 
> Less than a month ago, small farmers from
> Shushufindi were violently repressed
> for protesting the damages caused by the consorsium
> that built the new OCP
> crude oil pipeline.  This is not the first scandal
> caused by this company. OCP
> only pays its workers less than $3 per day. Recently
> when laborers protested
> their inhumane working conditions and their less
> than subsistance wages the
> response from this multi-national was to fire 160
> people.
> It is also important to note that Occidental
> Petroleum can be found in the
> consorsium of this multi-national corporation.  In
> Colombia, this same
> comapany tried to erase the dignified struggle of
> the U'wa indigenous community. 
> OXY is also one of the principle benefactors of  US
> intervention in Colombia. 
> The US government has commited almost one hundred
> million dollars to protect the
> Caño-Limon-Coveñas pipeline. 
> It is important to add that in Ecuador we are also
> on the verge of another indigenous and
> popular uprising due to the insistence of the
> government to privatize the electric sector. If the 
> governments' actions are as we expect them to be, as
> shown by the violent reaction to last 
> year's uprising and the martial implaced last
> january as well as during the strike in Sucumbios
> and Orellana, then the repression we are to face is
> great.
> The increasing difficult situation in Colombia and
> the increasing levels of state supported violence
> only make us more committed to continuing our
> struggle. Nevertheless, we hope that we will not
> be left alone.
> Please keep us in your thoughts and wish us luck as
> the events of the next few weeks continue 
> to unfold. If at all possible, please let us know by
> Wednesday if any help will be possible, as we 
> are going to have to make major decisions regarding
> our activities based on the number of people
> we are able to movilize.
> Our Cry Will Be Heard!

Ecuador | AGP