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A champion of the right to water in the communities of Azuay province, Ecuador, Carlos Perez Guartambel faced criminal charges and direct violence in several occasions.
Now, the indigenous lawyer has become the chair of the National Confederation of Kichwa Nationalities of Ecuador, one of the country’s main social organizations with a speech focused on the protection of the communities affected by projects that threaten common goods, such as water, land and biodiversity.
Perez said in his induction speech that there are two opposed views of civilization in Ecuador and Latin America. “The Western view of civilization promoted by capitalism, which includes the market force, but also the community view of civilization. Pachacámac and Huiracocha”, he said in reference to the Andean people’s indigenous Gods.
The affective, emotional and ancient aspects are essential in the current resistance in Ecuador , said Perez.
The new indigenous leader announced he will continue the social mobilization in the Ecuadorian sector by claiming the need for a pedagogy of resistance where “despite being criminalized, we need to continue blocking the streets to open avenues”.
About Rafael Correa’s administration, he said that “he now has the gold fever. We are fighting for water, while they have monoculture plantations, agrotoxics, GMO, we have our piece of land, biodiversity”.
Carlos Perez said the indigenous talk about an “un-development”, which means development under different parameters to those promoted by capitalism.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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