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FICI Initiates Strike in Imbabura


Beginning at 5:00am, Monday June 12, the Federation of Indians and Peasants of Imbabura (FICI) initiated a general strike in Imbabura. In doing so, FICI joins the the national strike in which virtually all popular sectors are manifesting their rejection of the economic measures implemented by the current government of President Jamil Mahuad, of the Populal Democratic (DP) Party.

FICI, an affiliate of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalites of Ecuador (CONAIE), is heeding the general guidelines of that organization in blocking all the principal highways and secondary roads to all communities and cities in the region. The protest is being conducted peacefully in conjunction with other social actors including taxi and transportation workers unions, artisan guilds, small business organizations, the Solidarity Women´s Network, the Unified Workers Front (FUT), and other social sectors whose already precarious economic situation is exacerbated by the government's recent decisions.

On Tuesday, July 13, a group of indigenous women members of FICI began a march from Otavalo to Quito with the aim of calling the national government`s attention to the problems created by the recent measures and demanding that the measures be reconsidered. This march, planned to last three days and covering 120 kilometers, has as its final destination the Government Palace in Quito where the women will reiterate the mandate that the CONAIE has already sent to the governement:

  1. Stop payment of the foreign debt.
  2. No privatization of the strategic economic areas (oil, mines, wetlands, water, electricity, telecommunication, health and education).
  3. Un-freezing of all bank accounts.
  4. Rejection of the neoliberal policies of the International Monetary Fund.
  5. Nullify the increase in the price of gas and freeze it at its current levels.
  6. Rescind the Executive Decree declaring a State of Emergency

Finally, FICI invites all organizations and the society in general to join the protest activities that will continue indefinitely until the government gives a satisfactory response to these demands.

Otavalo, July 12, 1999
(translation: Josè Antonio Lucero)