Ecuador’s indigenous movement launched a national “Mobilization to Defend the Water” Sept. 28, erecting roadblocks with rocks, trees and burning tires on several sections along the Panamerican highway and various other locations. The mobilization was called by Marlon Santi, president of Ecuador’s national indigenous coalition CONAIE, two weeks earlier, at a “National Assembly to Defend the Water.” A statement on the website of Ecuador’s Amazonian peoples alliance ECUARUNARI states that the country’s indigenous movement has been “exhausted by the process of dialogue” with the Rafael Correa government.
The mobilization, which will continue “indefinitely” according to CONAIE, is protesting the proposed Water Use and Management Act, now pending before Ecuador’s congress. Critics charge the law would give transnational mining companies free reign over water supplies throughout the country. (Intercontinental Cry, Sept. 28)