Ecuadorian ex-chancellor Ricardo Patino is willing to talk with indigenous movement


"I am always willing to talk with the indigenous movement, which is a historical and important movement … We will always privilege the relationship with the indigenous movement, they are our ancestors in such a way that we will always have a great respect for the indigenous movement, independently that we can have differences with some of their leaders, but as a whole as well as with the Afro movement, we will always bet on having a privileged relationship, "Patino said.

On October 15, Conaie President Jaime Vargas told Sputnik that the indigenous movement intends to form a political party to run for the 2021 presidential elections and will seek to represent the center and left sectors.
"I feel and I perceive that we may have a new president who is of the indigenous movement; the Conaie will be the politically strongest party for everything he has done for the Ecuadorian people, it would be one of the most important options in the country," Vargas ventured.

The leader considered that the party of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017), Citizen Revolution, is "over."

"For us correismo no longer exists, we want to build a new political agenda from our spaces and territories to bring together all social sectors and form a unique and global proposal," he said.
The indigenous movement was the one that had more preponderance during the protests that occurred in Ecuador between October 2 and 13.
La Conaie, founded in 1986, is the largest indigenous organization in Ecuador and articulates the 16 native nationalities of this country through its three regional ones: the Equarunari (sierra), the Confenaie (Amazon) and the Conaice (coast).

The Conaie broke off relations in 2009 with the then Correa Government by opposing the adoption of laws related to the extraction of natural resources.

In the midst of this conflict, the then president withdrew the indigenous administration of bilingual intercultural education and dismantled organizations in which the movement had influence over the State.

During Correa's term, indigenous leaders were prosecuted mainly for protesting against mining.
Patino said that at this time it is necessary to see how things unfold since his party, Citizen Revolution (left), is suffering a "great persecution" by the Government.
"I think there have been some untimely statements by some indigenous people, but also responsible for others. Some of them even tried to criminalize the leaders of the Citizen Revolution and somehow tacitly justified a persecution against us," Patino said.

However, he added: "I don't think that is widespread in the indigenous movement. In the case of possible conversations, we will have to wait a while because the Government of Ecuador is leading the authorities of our movement."

Since last week there were seven raids related to members of the Correa party and two arrests after the mass protests faced by the Government after eliminating the fuel subsidy, among other decreed economic measures.
The homes of the prefect of Pichincha, Paola Pabon, and that of the former citizen and executive secretary of the Citizen Revolution, Virgilio Hernandez, were raided by the police, as were the homes of five other people.
In addition, the Government of Mexico gave refuge in its embassy in Quito to six people linked to the Citizen Revolution.

Correa's lawyer, Fausto Jarrin, told Sputnik last Wednesday that the Government of Ecuador carries out intelligence activities to monitor and persecute leaders of the Citizen Revolution with arrests and raids, in addition to "harassing" the Mexican embassy in Quito

Patino said the Citizen Revolution will never be "beheaded" despite attempts to destabilize the movement.
"The companions left after the departure of former President Correa, the processing of former Vice President Jorge Glas and my departure from the country, were Assemblywoman Gabriela Rivadeneira, Hernandez and Pabon," he explained.
Now "they are persecuted, isolated or imprisoned, like the terrible case of Pabon and some other companions who took them prisoners without any kind of proof. Despite this, a new conduction of the movement is being formed; if they decapitate them, they will leave more because we are a whole town … they are going to get tired of beheading our movement and they are not going to achieve it, "he added.

On Sunday 13, with the mediation of the United Nations Organization and the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference, and the oversight of the different functions of the State, the indigenous movements that led the protests and the Government reached an agreement that ended the demonstrations canceling the decree that eliminated the fuel subsidy.

During the protests, which resulted in eight deaths and 1,340 wounded according to the Ombudsman's Office, there were vandalism, violence and unprecedented looting.

More than 820 people were arrested between October 3 and 9.

Julian Assange case

"What they have done against Julian Assange is diabolical, terrible (…) I agree that he is in very limited conditions to adequately exercise his defense, since they have tortured him and have taken actions against him not only unjust but absolutely illegal "Patino said.
The ex-diplomat added that "not only does a person, a friend, or a friendly government say it but the United Nations itself points it out."
On Monday, the Westminster Court of Magistrates in London denied an extension to Assange's extradition trial to the US and maintained February 24, 2020 as the scheduled date for the start of the trial.

Assange's defense had requested an extension of at least three months to prepare the case.

On Wednesday, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, said that Assange has been subjected to psychological torture and systematic violations of his right to due process by Ecuador, the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

For his part, Patino recalled that while he was chancellor (2010-2016) and Assange remained a refugee at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he made several direct efforts before the foreign secretaries of the United Kingdom to request health assistance.
Assange in June 2012 took refuge in the Ecuadorian diplomatic headquarters in London after losing all appeals against the extradition that the United Kingdom lent to comply, accessing the request of the Swedish Prosecutor's Office, which required him to prosecute him for alleged sexual crimes.
"They were always reluctant to accept even that a medical consultation could be done because they denied us the safe conduit, I raised on some occasions that at least they allowed us, through a special authorization, to be able to take it to a medical consultation and we they said at that moment that as soon as they set foot outside the embassy, ​​the lord would be taken prisoner, "he recalled.

The cyber-activist rejected his extradition on the grounds that Sweden would hand it over to the United States, where he could face the death penalty for having published thousands of secret documents about US Army operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On April 11 of this year, the WikiLeaks founder lost the asylum provided by Ecuador in his embassy and was arrested by the British police.
His arrest came on the same day that the US filed an extradition request to be able to judge the Australian cyber-activist.

For his part, Patino said that the Rafael Correa Government (2007-2017) had to provide Assange with medical attention at the embassy for many years.

"Assange for many years was without sunbathing, without being able to leave, stuck in a small place, because our embassy is relatively small, without even having a patio, somewhere; but besides that, when they take him prisoner, the Government Ecuadorian Lenin Moreno, without any criteria, gives Assange's personal documents to the CIA, to the US, "he added.
The "elementary" thing is that these documents be handed over to Assange, his lawyers or his family, Patino said.
"It is terrible that the things that are yours, of your intimacy, your secrets, your information, your defense capacity are handed over to your enemies, to the one who is prosecuting you, if this is not torture, at least it is a bad thing against Assange, "he reflected.

On September 28, Assange's lawyer, Carlos Poveda, told Sputnik that the Government of Ecuador withdrew the asylum from the cyber activist and founder of WikiLeaks, in exchange for agreements with the United Kingdom and the International Monetary Fund.

Poveda also said that Assange remains in continuous isolation and with serious health problems from US pressure.

US justice claims the former director of WikiLeaks to prosecute him for 18 conspiracy crimes to access government computer systems and dissemination of confidential information in violation of the Espionage law.

The extradition trial is scheduled for the last week of February 2020 in the Westminster Court itself.

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