by Drs. Joshua Holst and Angelica Maria Bernal
LIVE DRAFT: Last updated 4 July 2022 10:00PM
Leónidas Iza, President of Ecuador’s national indigenous movement, faces irregular charges brought forth by Ecuador’s Attorney General and PetroEcuador, the state-owned petroleum company.
Over the month of June, Indigenous protesters have put their lives on the line, braving the cold and going without food or shelter for days for a cause they say is not only central to Indigenous survival but for that of all Ecuadorians who continue to struggle in the aftermath of the pandemic. The government’s response has been marked by state violence, repression, states of exception, and stalled dialogue. As of this date, 5 protesters have been killed: Jhonny Muenala, Byron Huatatoca, Henry Quezada, Franco Iñiguez, and José Villa. The child of a protester and a soldier have died as well. In addition, the Alliance for Human Rights Ecuador reports 313 people injured, 147 detentions, and 74 other human rights abuses against Indigenous and popular sector protestors. These violations have been the responsibility of Ecuadorian police and military. These attacks on protestors continued to escalate: over the course of the 17-day National Strike (Paro Nacional), President Guillermo Lasso authorized lethal force against protesters, resulting in mutilations, severe injury and acts of torture.