At the 7th Congress of CONAIE, which was held in Tunguragua province, Senaida Yasacama, a woman representing the Quichua people, was also elected as vice-president.
During this national meeting, Iza reached 821 votes while Saraguro people candidate Maria Andrade obtained 287 votes, and Sierra Norte community leader Marco Guatemal gained 153 votes.
After knowing the results, Iza thanked CONAIE delegates for the trust placed in him and stressed his commitment to work for the organization’s unity and social transformation in Ecuador.
Leonidas Iza has been elected the new president of CONAIE, Ecuador’s indigenous confederation. Iza is a socialist and follower of Peruvian writer Jose Carlos Mariategui (who also influences Peru Libre) and was one of the main leaders of the uprising in 2019. pic.twitter.com/a9a4Zvg2Pq
Before the Indigenous delegates cast their vote, they demanded that a woman be part of the CONAIE leadership in compliance with what this organization's last congress had ordered. However, members of the Electoral Committee stressed that men should also held their candidature because Ecuador’s Constitution does not allow discrimination.
Formed in Nov. 1986, CONAIE is currently the largest Indigenous organization in Ecuador. Among other elements, its political agenda encompasses the strengthening of Indigenous cultures and identities, the fight for land rights, the promotion of environmental sustainability, and the rejection of the U.S. military presence in South America.
During the last electoral processes, CONAIE has also rejected large mining projects and the extraction of natural resources in fragile ecosystems.