Wed. Feb 26th, 2020

Indigenous of Ecuador release agents after staged leader funeral

The indigenous movement of Ecuador released the ten police officers who were held in the Agora of the Casa Cultura in Quito since the morning of Thursday, after the staged funeral of one of their leaders killed in the protests.

This was confirmed by the Minister of Government (Interior), María Paula Romo, in a press conference, in which she also said that journalists who were being held inside the facility had been allowed to leave.

The natives handed over the agents after the funeral of the leader Inocencio Tucumbi, who died on Wednesday during the riots due to a general strike, and in which four of them had to load the coffin to the main platform of the Agora, where a mass was held.

The leaders of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) had arranged for the four agents to carry the coffin, because, in the application of indigenous justice, they represented the violent repression that they reportedly claimed generated against them during the protests of the last week.

After the funeral, the ten agents were guarded by the "Indigenous Guard" to Alameda Park, near the historic center of Quito, in a march surrounded by hundreds of people.

In the park they were handed ritually to representatives of the United Nations System in Ecuador and the Ombudsman's Office.

"We thank Conaie (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) for the peaceful delivery of the police. We consider this as a gesture of goodwill that contributes to creating conditions of greater confidence to prevent violence and seek concerted ways out of this situation," said a Network message spread by the UN delegation in Ecuador.

Eight of the agents had been captured early in the morning, and two others during the prolonged rally that the Indians held throughout the day in the Agora, and which were described as "infiltrators" in the act.

The symbolic march and staged delivery of the agents was headed by the president of Conaie, Jaime Vargas, and by Leonidas Iza, leader of the Peasant Movement of the Cotopaxi province.

His capture and retention for more than ten hours has been the epicenter of the protests this Thursday in Quito.

The natives, outraged by the death of one of their representatives and for what they describe as "repression" of law enforcement since the wave of protests began a week ago, kept them in the Agora as shields against any police action during your concentration

During the rally, they took them on stage, took off their boots and socks so that they could not flee easily, and forced them to use their radios to negotiate with the police abroad.

They also retained about thirty journalists from local and international media, some of whom made them speak on stage and admit that they were there of their own accord.

In a statement, the Conaie acknowledged that the access and exit of the Agora were restricted but said it was in order to prevent the entry of undesirable individuals that could be violent.

Since arriving in Quito on Monday to protest against the measures and cuts of President Lenin Moreno, in response to demands from the IMF to receive a credit line of 10,000 million dollars, the indigenous people have tried to distance themselves from violent subjects and in fact their Wednesday's demonstration, decreed day of general strike, passed in an orderly manner.

Yes they were violent, since last week, the demonstrations arranged from the unions and leftist groups, which massively confronted law enforcement in Quito and other cities in the country, which has left serious damage and a balance of 5 dead, 554 wounded and a thousand detainees.

The most violent part of the indigenous movement was seen before arriving in Quito on Monday from the most distant provinces.

On their way to the capital they blocked roads, confronted the armed forces and ransacked some industries and farms.

Another event that clouded his concentration this Thursday was the brutal aggression suffered at the exit of the rally in the Agora by a journalist from the Teleamazonas channel, who received a strong stony in the head from a short distance and from the back.

Different videos spread about the event show the journalist walking and followed by several people when an aggressor throws a stone with great violence from a short distance, which causes him to fall to the ground with serious head injuries.

Elias L. Benarroch

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