Leonidas Iza, leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (CONAIE), told the press on Friday that “little progress has been made on oil and mining issues”.
Ecuador: Dialogue resumes between the indigenous movement and the government
Iza made this assessment on the same day that representatives of the Ecuadorian government and the leaders of the three indigenous groups participating in these talks signed an agreement on the issue of energy and natural resources.
Regarding oil, a temporary moratorium was decreed on the development of 15 oil blocks and the suspension of new mining contracts until a law on prior community consultations is established.
In the mining sector, the government has pledged to suspend the issuance of mining titles and environmental licenses for the launch of new activities in the sector until the necessary regulations are in place.
In turn, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Xavier Vera, told reporters that the round tables work, although he acknowledged that there have been “agreements and also disagreements, but it that’s dialogue,” he said.
Indeed, the commitment was to close on Friday, September 9 the round tables of dialogue that remained open; that is, the focus of fuel subsidies, price controls, productive promotion, and energy and natural resources.
However, the last three were reinstated, although there was the signing of a document with the agreements and disagreements.
The 5 remaining round tables will be installed next Monday until October 12th.
On June 13, Ecuador’s indigenous communities marched from their regions to cities, including the capital, Quito, to demand a series of social and economic demands from the government of conservative President Guillermo Lasso.
These protests were joined by various unions and continued for several weeks, killing at least eight people and seriously affecting the oil industry.
The protests have forced immediate cuts in gasoline and diesel prices, fertilizer subsidies and other measures the government says will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Protesters outraged by the government’s inaction began calling for the resignation of Lasso, who ended the protests on June 30, proposing a 90-day dialogue with indigenous leaders from three groups to discuss the claims.