For eleven days, Ecuador has lived the fiercest ethnic-class dictatorship in contemporary memory. Within the framework of a state of siege that was decreed the day after protests began, there emerged a national-ethnic-popular insurrection led by the indigenous movement against neoliberal measures.
Violent repression by the Moreno government
The Moreno government applied unprecedented violence, leading to a massacre silenced by the media. The consequences are still uncertain, but based on the figures of 7 dead, 1340 injured and 1152 detained, provided by the Defensoría del Pueblo, another 80 people allegedly disappeared could be added to this number.
Disguising the repressive apparatus of the state began in 2017
This dictatorship that has revealed that the neo-fascist mood of the oligarchy, is not a phenomenon of this October 2019. It has been emerging since before Moreno became president in 2017. But from that date in May of 2017 they began to move their accommodations with the US behind the scenes — the repressive apparatus of the state, including the oligarchy and business media and the ruling clique along with certain indigenous and union leaders that gave a kind of social base to a new oligarchic-imperial pact aimed at eradicating progressive government.
Proceeding with the task of getting rid of progressive forces
Thus, for two-and-a-half years, they have been unconcerned about destroying the law and the Constitution, while they focused their repression on a group–just as did earlier civilians and military dictatorships in our region—in order to outlaw the leadership of the Citizen Revolution (RC).
The tool for this has been a discourse of hate, aimed at the symbolic destruction of progressivism. By associating progressivism with corruption, trying to isolate it and turn it into a cancer to be removed; and by the frivolous use political lies and scandal. This in turn has been amplified by communication achieved through bribery with “judges” whose sentences have been obeyed by a judicial apparatus subordinated to that oligarchic-imperial pact. This pact has selectively persecuted and jailed the RC’s leadership. That has been the fate of Jorge Glas, Rafael Correa, Ricardo Patiño, Sofía Espín, Carlos Ochoa and other leaders.
Delegitimizing opposition; seeking to build “a community of hatred”
That July 2017, Moreno said: “there is no table set” and advanced a false argument of over-indebtedness. Those efforts culminated in the prosecution of Correa in April 2018 and are organically linked to the events of October 2019. This is evidenced by the new political lies that Moreno puts forth today, dismissing the national-ethnic-popular insurrection as a “Correist coup.” Thus Moreno continues his attempt to reconstitute the pact with the natives that sustained the transition, hoping to find a community of hatred. This position was rejected by Leonidas Iza, and other leaders of the indigenous people.
The alliance that emerged in October is a reaction to hate
The insurrection showed that the massive repudiation of Moreno would represent a harvest of the hatred he tried to sow against the Citizen Revolution. Today this has bounced like a violent boomerang against him and his government.
This seems to have escaped their notice, as part of the new dialogue with the indigenous people, they have undertaken more raids against the RC, imprisoning Yoffre Poma (Assemblyman), Alexandra Arce (former Mayor of Durán), the Prefect of Pichincha, Paola Pavón, Virgilio Hernández (former Assemblyman) and forcing into isolation the former President of the National Assembly, Gabriela Rivadeneira.
The popular resistance will grow despite continued repression
The brutal dictatorship we Ecuadorians have witnessed and been victims of during these eleven days of October continues. Again it targets the militancy of the Citizen Revolution. Will they also go for the emerging leadership of the popular insurrection? Do they believe that in this way they will be able to stop the course of a political current that will lead to the heart of the resistance, strengthening the current ones and giving birth to new leaders, equally strong? Because history will not stop because the ‘dictatorzuelo’ chooses.
The popular ethnic-class alliance that faces the racism and classism of the oligarchy emerged on the streets during this historic October 2019. The indigenous movement, which has recovered its revolutionary vein of the 90s, cannot continue within the transition pact, legitimizing the oligarchic-imperial dictatorship that Moreno represents, whose hands are stained with the blood of our people. On the other hand, progressivism must humbly assume the task of decolonization, interculturality and the construction of the Pluri-national State, without which there will be no possible revolutionary change in our country.
—Quito, October 14, 2019
Erika Sylva Charvet is an Ecuadorian social scientist and former Minister of Culture during the administration of Rafael Correa. Translated by Enrique Quintero.