Ecuador: indigenous movement scores victory in water struggle —for now
Indigenous leaders in Ecuador announced the temporary lifting of their protest campaign against the pending national water law on May 13. The announcement came as Ecuadoran lawmakers failed to reach a deal on putting off debate on the contested water bill, leaving the legislation with an uncertain future. Unrest over the past week had left 20 injured and 30 detained. Delfín Tenesaca, president of the indigenous organization ECUARUNARI, said, "The mobilizations are suspended for now, to give a turn to the popular assemblies" to decide the next move.
Lawmakers failed to approve a motion by congress president Fernando Cordero to postpone debate over the bill for six months while indigenous communities were consulted over the impact of the proposal on their territories. The move was rejected by indigenous leaders. "The government is irresponsible and is playing with the Ecuadorean people," said Marlon Santi, head of the country's main indigenous confederation, CONAIE. (Reuters, May 14; RPP Noticias, Peru, May 13)