El Arbolito Park is an historically important site for Ecuador's past Indigenous uprisings. It is where the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, or CONAIE, held an assembly to discuss further strategies and plan marches against the government of President Rafael Correa. The municipal permit for CONAIE to remain in the park expires on Friday.
CONAIE has lost much of its former support since its first uprising in 1990. Former leaders of the confederation have said that they disagree with the new leadership's tactics and the violence seen in this past month of protests.
Former leaders have questioned CONAIE's alliance with traditional right-wing sectors in marches. | Photo: teleSUR
Former CONAIE leader Miguel Lluco told teleSUR English,“They are affiliating with politicians, of Ecuador's right-wing political parties. So this is the first sign of how this uprising is different from what happened more than 25 years ago. This is what we Ecuadoreans are living now in this moment.”
Many who participated in CONAIE's past uprisings have since separated from the movement, because they feel that the confederation no longer represents their interests.
“There is a small sector of the Indigenous movement that has a hidden agenda. And this hidden agenda looks to unite with the right, and why is this? To destabilize the country, and to try to launch a coup d'etat. And this is within an international agenda that wants the progressive governments that we see today in Latin America to fall,” President of the Coordination of Social Movements for Democracy and Socialism Rodrigo Collaguazo, a supporter of CONAIE's past uprisings, told teleSUR English.
Some Indigenous organizations, once part of CONAIE, are today active participants in the permanent vigil for democracy in Independence Plaza. They feel that their concerns have been taken into account under this government, and they are there daily, protecting the democratic process.