Ecuador: Sarayaku community in rebellion

By Christian Tym

Ecuador’s Amazonian indigenous community of Sarayaku is in a state of rebellion against the central government after refusing entry to a police contingent arriving by helicopter on the morning of May 6. The helicopter landed, but was barely able to stay five minutes after being threatened by 300 people carrying machetes, muskets and a net to throw over the helicopter. “This is extremely serious, an attack on the rule of law in this country,” President Rafael Correa said. “Tomorrow, any other community could claim the right to harbour fugitives.”


The conflict was sparked when the Kichwa jungle community announced it had given asylum to Clever Jimenez, a politician from the indigenous Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement – New Country party. Jimenez had been sentenced to 18 months’ jail for libel against Correa. Fernando Villavicencio and Carlos Figueroa were convicted on related charges.

Jimenez had been a fugitive since the sentence. Provincial Pachakutik leader Salvador Quishpe said on March 23: “We have our feelers ready to keep him safe from the grasshopper [Correa].” On April 24, Sarayaku announced the granting of asylum to Jimenez. Read Article

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