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Urgent statement

Women against neoloberal reforms and repression in Ecuador

Wednesday 9 October 2019

We, the women who resist - in the streets, in our territories, from our spaces and communities - we are the feminist sisters from Abya Yala, those who combat with our bodies, and sustain life; We sympathize with the criminalized, detained, repressed and persecuted in these days of protest against the neoliberal economic measures (paquetazo) of Lenin Moreno´s government. Since the announcement on Tuesday, of the structural adjustment measures in Ecuador, the different organizations and popular movements, indigenous and social, called for an indefinite strike against the economic violence exerted by the Government/ International Monetary Fund / Business Partnership, that fundamentally affects the popular sectors, the most impoverished and the middle classes.

Because of the national mobilizations, the Lenin Moreno government yesterday decreed a “State of Exception” and enabled the Police and Armed Forces to assume control and order throughout the national territory, suspending the right to freedom of association and meeting to preserve the security of the State, limiting the right to freedom of transit, and determining that necessary requisitions are executed to maintain the services that guarantee order and internal security.

The result of this State of Exception, on noon October 4, is 267 detainees nationwide who have reported gunfire shots, hits, motorcycle violence and inhuman treatment by the Police; two fellow indigenous leaders arrested (Marlon Santi, coordinator of Pachakutik; Jairo Gualinga, youth leader of CONAIE); a young man who, due to the impact of police repression, is in a severe condition; Luis Timpantuña, a university student who lost his eye due to the impact of a tear gas bomb; a young man injured in Cuenca with a tear pump on the cheekbone; and many people we don’t know yet, since the mass media in the country is hiding this reality from the world. Both the Office of the Ombudsman and the IACHR have pronounced themselves denouncing the excessive and disproportionate use of the state apparatus against the protesters, and have urged the Ecuadorian government to guarantee the right to protest and human rights.

We know that it is the state policy that has violated Ecuadorians, by restricting not only our legitimate right to protest but also our possibilities to realize dignified lives. The signing of an agreement with the IMF and the neoliberal policies imposed by the Government constitutes a hard blow against the Ecuadorian people, and against those who are historically in situations of greater inequality, injustice and violence: women, young people, peoples and nationalities, the working class.

The more social injustice and alliance of the government with the national and transnational ruling classes, the greater discontent in the streets of organizations, movements, groups and popular sectors. The more politics of fear and repression, the more voices demanding that human rights be respected.

Given the Police and Armed forces brutality we hold President Lenin Moreno and his Minister Maria Paula Romo directly responsible for the physical and emotional integrity of the detainees; and we demand their immediate freedom.

We demand that the right to protest of the entire Ecuadorian people be guaranteed and the State of Exception be withdrawn throughout the national territory.

We call on the international community, feminist, women, popular and indigenous organizations to pronounce themselves on the severe situation of Ecuador and to be vigilant for the ful