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News > Ecuador

Ecuadorian Indigenous Lawmakers Introduce Agrarian Reform Bill

  • A woman works the land, Ecuador.

    A woman works the land, Ecuador. | Photo: Twitter/ @AldeaFundacion

Published 5 May 2022 (13 hours 42 minutes ago)
Opinion

“Indigenous people face numerous difficulties to claim their territories, whose delimitation often coincides with forest and mining concessions": Indigenous Nationalities Confederation President Leonidas Iza says.

On Thursday, 18 lawmakers of the Ecuadorian Indigenous movement Pachakutik presented a reform bill to the Rural and Indigenous Lands Act to guarantee these communities’ full ownership of their territories.

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“Indigenous people face numerous difficulties to claim their territories, whose delimitation often coincides with forest and mining concessions,” the Ecuadorian Indigenous Nationalities Confederation (CONAIE) President Leonidas Iza stated.

The national agrarian reforms of 1964, 1973, and 1994 failed to prevent the land concentration of land by large corporations. Currently, there are over 200,000 farmers who work the land without owning it.

"Land must be redistributed to farmers who guarantee our country’s food sovereignty," Iza pointed out, stressing that national land exploitation should follow a sustainability perspective approach.

The reform bill proposed to enable Indigenous people and farmers to decide on mining or oil projects in their areas, regulate the sale of land to foreigners, and create a National Land Fund.

The Pachakutik lawmakers clarified that they are open to debating these initiatives with other parliamentarians, stressing that an agrarian law reform approval concerns all Ecuadorian society.

This Indigenous parliamentary group, which is the second-largest political force in the national Lower House, also submitted a reform of the Water Resources Act on March 22  to ensure proper water governance and people’s rights to this resource.

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Leonidas Iza
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