A Statement by Ecuador's Most Important Social Movements

Note by Al Giordano: During Thursday's coverage of events in Ecuador, we accepted on face value that it was an attempted coup d'etat and saw the same international forces behind the 2009 Honduras coup involved in these events. Now that the immediate dangers have subsided is the moment to reflect more deeply as to what occurred and why.

We also defended Ecuador's most important coalition of social movements, the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE, in its Spanish initials) from a vicious smear and innuendo campaign against it by North Americans like Eva Golinger, Jean-Guy Allard, and on her Twitter feed, Naomi Klein (see correction down below) who recklessly accused the indigenous women and men of the CONAIE of being agents of imperialism and recipients of funds from US AID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

In subsequent days, waving extremely flimsy and half-stated "evidence," Golinger and Allard have pressed their crusade to discredit the CONAIE further in a series of articles high on rhetoric and rumor and low on factual content or proof. If this is to become a duel of credibility and honesty between these gringo and Canadian voices and the dignified ones of the CONAIE, we give far more benefit of the doubt to those Ecuadorean voices who have proved for two decades that they hold the interests of their own country and their own peoples high and proud and who have effectively organized and struggled and continue to win real results.

We furthermore consider the efforts by Golinger et al against the good people of the CONAIE to themselves be a form of North American imperialism and view it necessary to call it what it is: dishonesty based on the imperatives of political expediency and worship at the altar of State power. McCarthyism and Stalinism were always two faces on the same coin, after all. Each make their lists, invent false charges, distort the whole truth, as they seek to purge, destroy and silence debate and dissent.

In recent days, Narco News reporters have been interviewing social movement leaders from throughout the hemisphere on the issues raised by this breach and a detailed report airing different perspectives is forthcoming.

Today, the CONAIE categorically refuted the accusations made against it as false, and responded in this public statement, which we now translate for English-language readers. To be continued...

The Alleged Coup d’Etat, Democracy, and the Indigenous Organizations

By Marlon Santi

President, CONAIE

We, the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE, in its Spanish initials) and the Pachakutik Bloc, in response to the events of September 30, 2010, and the claims made in recent days about the alleged  support by USAID-NED to indigenous organizations, standing firmly on our historic process of bringing about a true Pluri-national State, announce:

The struggle of the peoples and nationalities is not an individual one, rather, it corresponds to the collective dream of constructing a diverse country, inclusive of the diverse popular and social organized sectors that seek a real change to end the old neoliberal, exploitative structures and the decolonization of the institutions of the State. We seek a pluri-national democracy, respectful of the rights of individuals, of collective organizations and of nature.

We energetically announce that there never was any attempted coup d’etat, much less a kidnapping, but an event that responded to the uncertain political management of the government that causes popular discontent through permanent aggression, discrimination and violations of human rights consecrated in the Constitution.

We do not recognize this dictatorial “democracy” because of its lack of freedom of speech, the kidnapping of all the powers of the state by the executive branch in its political system of one government, that does not generate spaces to debate the projects, and laws elaborated from the indigenous movement and other social sectors.

We categorically refute claims that the CONAIE, the Pachakutik Political Movement, the peoples and nationalities have any relationship at all with the organism known as USAID, previously NED, not today nor ever. To the contrary, we know that this organization finances the “social programs” of this government like the forest partnership and that, yes, is condemnable.

We demand the constitutional suspension of the National Congress for its failure to comply with the constitutional mandate that it legislate much less audit as it is well known that all laws are approved by the president’s legal minister.

We condemn the usurpation of press freedom when on September 30 all media not allied with the government was forced to broadcast government news in “cadena nacional,” a means by which all access to information is controlled and manipulated with a version of the facts that does not inform about the real dimensions of the situation on that day in the country.

Quito, Ecuador, October 6, 2010

Government of the Peoples and Nationalities,

Marlon Santi

President, CONAIE

Update and Correction: A reader, Dawn Paley, writes us:

Hi Al,

In your post yesterday on Narco News, you wrote that on her Twitter feed, Naomi Klein "recklessly accused the indigenous women and men of the CONAIE of being agents of imperialism and recipients of funds from US AID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)."
I've carefully reviewed Naomi's twitter feed from that day and following days, and she did no such thing. On the contrary, she repeatedly challenged Golinger's position.
I hope that you'll correct this error as soon as possible.
Dawn Paley
We have reviewed Klein's Twitter feed and conclude that Dawn is correct. The confusion stemmed from Twitter posts from Golinger to Klein. We regret the error and extend our apology to our readers and to Naomi Klein. Thank you, Dawn, for bringing the error to our attention. We are actually relieved that the truth is better than our error in this case.


Of Foreign Interference & Democracy Destabilizers

GREETINGS to the CONAIE & PACHAKUTIC Peoples of the sovereign country of Ecuador. You have done well denouncing the treacherous & premeditated half-truths & innuendoes of the parties aforementioned in your documented denunciation and repudiation of their irresponsible accounts of what they perfectly know to be an orchestration of the USAID & its master the CIA. Be it known that: Greg Grandin, Prof. Gareau and John Perkins told the TRUTH And that Eva Golinger, Jean-Guy Allard and Naomi Klein told LIES, LIES, LIES! KUDOS to CONAIE & PACHAKUTIC.... for setting the record straight and for defending the PACHAMAMA by honoring the memories of her illustrious sons; EUGENIO ESPEJO, ABDON CALDERON & ELOY ALFARO!

making sense of this

Golinger said that CONAIE had USAID funds "at their disposal." Clearly the tone of the paragraph was to lump all those organizations together as USAID cutouts and it is her responsibility to verify the claim and be specific about what "at their disposal" means rather than have CONAIE prove a negative.

However, various sources indicate Pachakutik supported Gutierrez during the coup.  Unless you're saying Gutierrez had no relationship with USAID or NED, then there's that extended relationship to consider.

Also, Santi's claim that there was no coup because Correa's policies are disagreeable suggests we're in heavy spin mode here.

I needn't say that even if you assume the worst about Golinger's improvisation of claims about "at their disposal," the McCarthy/ Stalin comparisons are a bit much.

@ Ian

Ian - Is it? Is it really so much to compare Eva "I have a list" Golinger to one of the Joe's (McCarthy or Stalin)?

Where is her indignant innuendo when the government of Correa in Ecuador accepts far more funds from USAID than she infers that some cousin to an in-law of a person who was in a group in the 1990s may or may not have taken from the NED? How about the $50 million dollars Correa's Ecuadorean military took last year from the US military? Or the USAID money Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, accepted to fund the important constituent assembly in that country to draft a new constitution?

No, Golinger's selective "I have a list" faux-journalism is so often aimed at critics of the State who are more "below" and more "to the left" than the governments they criticize. For Golinger, it is all about STATE POWER (and auditioning to get more money herself from a left wing State that this newspaper has defended longer than she has publicly). 

Attacking the CONAIE? She isn't worthy to wash the feet of the good women and men of the CONAIE, who have done far more than she ever will to advance the authentic struggles in this hemisphere, and will continue to do so. She is a charlatan. And her suggestion that a few thousand dollars here or there to third parties can corrupt their friends only suggests that the reality is that the possibility of a few thousand dollars here or there does corrupt her. It sounds like a case of projection to me. Especially when she never complains that the State apparati in whose name she is attacking these social movements accept a thousand times the money from USAID than those she attempts to smear with innuendo she doesn't even back up with documentation.


Well, Lucio Gutierrez is all about STATE POWER, and a central question is whether Pachakutik is allied with him. Evo Morales says something funny's going on here.  When a democratically elected government is being undermined and threatened, people are going to think about STATE POWER.  People have a right to sympathize with and respect whomever they want, but people can also be realistic and objective about the question of whether there is, in fact, a shared goal between Gutierrez and Pachakutik and what a possible outcome of that alliance would be.  I don't think a possible outcome would be Gutierrez deferring to Pachukutik.

@ Ian

Ian - When Lucio Gutiérrez came to power, he was supported by Hugo Chávez and by much of the Latin American left. (Very soon they changed their minds - as they may well do of Correa, still - but that is what happened.) Do you know who took Gutiérrez down when he proved to be a fraud? The CONAIE. You need to better study the history of the last 14 years in Ecuador. The CONAIE is going to outlast many presidents to come, as it has outlasted ten already.

When It Comes To Public Opinion

I still say CONAIE needs to find a better way to resolve the current issues on the table than denying the coup, this will only result in them losing some popular support and further feeding an unwarranted cloud of suspicion. Despite his shortcomings, Correa has still carried out social programs much more effective and popular than anything Gutierrez ever did, it would be very hard for CONAIE to mobilize the kind of mass activity to overthrow him. As Mark Weisbrot wrote in a recent piece for Counterpunch:

The coup might have had a chance if Correa were not so popular. Despite his enemies in high places, the president’s approval rating was 67 percent in Quito a couple of weeks ago. His government has doubled spending on health care, significantly increased other social spending, and successfully defaulted on $3.2 billion of foreign debt that was found to be illegitimately contracted. Ecuador managed to squeak through 2009 without a recession and is projected to grow about 2.5 percent this year. Correa, an economist, has had to use heterodox and creative methods to keep the economy growing in the face of external shocks because the country does not have its own currency. It adopted the dollar in 2000, which means that it can do little in the way of monetary policy and has no control over its exchange rate. """"

Thoroughly confused ...

We do not recognize this dictatorial “democracy”...

We energetically announce that there never was any attempted coup d’etat, much less a kidnapping, but an event that responded to the uncertain political management of the government...

Well these sentences do not give much confidence in CONAIEs evaluation of coup/noncoup event. And being an authentic and non-corrupt organization does not preclude being used for somebody elses purposes - in fact it is easier because they have a better reputation.

On your report

Hell yes!! You don't know how happy it makes me to read this report. Wondering how Golinger will respond now, the stalinist hack.

@ Sophie

Sophie - I would take a wait-and-see approach for hard information to come out about exactly what happened on Thursday. Sometimes history is, by definition, confusing.

But the possibility that the CONAIE can be used or manipulated by outsiders, I would put that at zero. It is a huge organization made up of many different local groups and distinct indigenous ethnic groups, constructed and grown over twenty years in a way that makes it impossible for any one individual or faction to take it over. In general, indigenous decision making processes are methodical and involve a lot of horizontal discussion and decisions simply aren't made instantly or by fiat. That can be frustrating to folks outside such a group in this media world where we have become accustomed to "staff" making decisions for most political organizations. Instead of following the news cycle, organizations like CONAIE (or, for another example, like the Zapatistas in Mexico) can typically be silent for a good while and then suddenly appear to drive a whole new news cycle.

This hemisphere has suffered more than 500 years of outsiders telling indigenous peoples what they "should" or "should not" do. That is the basic building block of imperialism and colonialism. What I find intolerable is when people who call themselves of the "left" begin trying to boss indigenous organizations around and even worse when it is done underhandedly through rumor and smear campaigns like the one we have seen in the past week. Even when we might disagree with what such organizations do or don't do, we ought to respect it because in the end none of this is our decision as outsiders. It is theirs. The moment we forget that, we become the imperialists.

Drifting perpendicular from the 5th parallel...


Jean-guy Allard is an "apparatus" socialist, a big tent, brown tuxedoes, top-down Marxist grown out of  the 1970's theoretical debates; Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Rosa Luxembourg, Hegelian philosophy and the pivotal debates around the scope, range, and Universality of an inevitable, soon-to-spread Socialist Revolution, and its forking out into State(s???) Central Planning. Failed attempts by a mono cultural firing squad and members of "intellectual hermitage inc." at seizing the High Grounds led them into oblivion and mindset exile.
For obvious reasons, Stalin was left out of the dialectical conversion processes. But the stumping grounds were all His. Bottom-up could only be validated from the top-down, adjourned sine die and ex cathedra. Tempers ran high, mine, and time warps threw the Cardinals of the Sacred Revolutionary College into obsolescence, and Québec's dreams of autonomous socio-economic development along with them.

Central planners, be they the Chamber of Commerce or the politburo, the Clinton Foundation or the UN Security Council, abhor autonomous budding of quaint market places.
I was vintage idealism/pragmatism back then as the likes of Allard kept vigil on Lenin's subverted legacy. A journalist on a mainly local sports tabloid's payroll hired to report "fifth column" on his own destitution. Recycling old paradigms and beaten down sloganeering in Indian territories makes for a rich endowment to a disembodied purgatory.
South America's quest for authentic, locally inbred solutions could not hope for more salient devolution than to resort to consolidated revolutionary homogenisation; but take it from a con man's foe, don't mistake a false positive for a truthful derivative ...


 "Even when we might disagree with what such organizations do or don't do, we ought to respect it because in the end none of this is our decision as outsiders. It is theirs. The moment we forget that, we become the imperialists."

Al- I agree with your final words more than anything else I have read here. Some of us are Accidental Imperialists. Sometimes because of the same passion that drives the Insiders to improve their Lot, we Outsiders stand opposed to our brothers' wishes -- so we should seek to Encourage, but not Dictate.

This is truly a difficult topic, and I believe it defines our times. The indigenous question is confounding because even in a place like Bolvia, where an indigenous populist president presides, the indigenous communities seem to be against the majority of his actions as well. I do believe that everyone, no matter how secluded or well-intentioned, is a victim of disinformation. This disinformation is the greatest obstacle to achieving a balance of power -- plurality -- based upon mutual respect, which is ofcourse the only solution.




independence from well-meaning Westerners

(1) Pachakutik and CONAIE both have their own websites [1] [2].  It would help convince outsiders if these two organisations could publish their statements on their own websites, rather than just through a third party:

[1] http://www.pachakutik.org.ec/

[2] http://www.conaie.org/

At the moment i see nothing at all. If Pachakutik and CONAIE want to complain about well-meaning Western leftists imposing their own views, then Pachakutik and CONAIE publishing their own statements on their own websites, rather than via other well-meaning Western leftists, would be a good step to becoming less dependent on any well-meaning Western leftists A, B or C.

(2) "We demand the constitutional suspension of the National Congress for its failure to comply with the constitutional mandate..."  The 2008 Constitution replaced the National Congress by a National Assembly, e.g. Articles 118-128, DISPOSICIONES TRANSITORIAS, CUARTA,[3]  and the National Congress apparently closed down in November 2007. Taken literally, this means that CONAIE and Pachakutik are calling for a no-longer-existing body to be suspended because it has failed to comply with a constitution that says that it (the no-longer-existing body) should have already been closed down. In fact, it did close down.

A more reasonable interpretation is either that the translator thought that the difference was trivial, or CONAIE and Pachakutik consider this just to be a mere label, that it's essentially the same thing, no matter what the name is. But in that case, what is the point of referring to a Constitution in which the change of the name of the thing from Congress to Assembly presumably was meant to symbolise a big change in how the legislative body functions? If you want to invoke the Constitution, then surely it's a good idea to refresh yourself with what it actually says.

[3] http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Constitutions/Ecuador/ecuador08.html

[4] http://www.asambleaconstituyente.gov.ec/documentos/constitucion_de_bolsi... [unfortunately, this website is no longer active; we have to rely on... well-meaning Western academics for a copy of the Ecuadorian 2008 Constitution, unless someone can find it e.g. at the National ... Assembly website?]

Who's Narrative Is CONAIE Siding With?

I've been going by what I've seen on the major, corporate networks from Latin America and so far the only groups promoting the same version of events as CONAIE are the right-wing, US-backed groups. Last night on the new 24-hour news network NTN, which is heavily right-wing and funded by Colombia, they only had opposition guests from Ecuador and Venezuela on to comment on what happened in Ecuador. Their statements sounded word for word like what CONAIE issued in their official response to the coup. The sad thing here is that when your average Ecuadorian turns on the TV, it will seem as if CONAIE and the right-wing are on the same side, eventhough they are not...I hope.

As for Golinger, she's still done some good reporting on other topics, such as the US welcoming with open arms Venezuelan terrorist Raul Pena. She could very well be wrong on CONAIE, people on our side are prone to make mistakes too.

@ Devil in the Details

Devil - You must not have looked very hard because the CONAIE website is precisely where the organization first posted its declaration. Here is the link, which has appeared since yesterday on the front page of Narco News.

Secondly, yes, the translation translates "asamblea" to Congress because our US readers - the bulk of our English language readers, that is - understand congress as the word for a legislative body. It seems to me you have your panties in a bunch over something that you did not research well, and now you're doing the same thing Golinger and Allard have done: shooting at CONAIE and accusing it of something it hasn't done (in this case, publishing its statement "just through a third party"). We got the statement yesterday by virtue of being one of a great many media on the CONAIE press list, and it has been on the CONAIE website since before they sent it out.

You further show your ignorance on a subject you claim to know something about when you infer that the suspension of the legislative body could be unconstitutional. In fact, it is something the Ecuadorean Constitution specifically allows and has been openly under consideration and even called for by President Correa himself. On that matter, the CONAIE and Correa seem to be in agreement.

I would also recommend, frankly, that if you want to infer your own expertise on any subject you ought to sign your own name to your declarations, as I and so many others do. Then one would be able to check the body of one's work and draw his and her own conclusions on how "credible" the source really is. Anonymous commenters - while their opinions and comments are welcome and can often be legitimate - are simply not credibly received when they proclaim their expertise on any subject. That's one reason why all Narco News reporters and co-publishers, as a matter of policy, sign our real names to everything we publish.

More than Two Sides to Most Stories

Max - The suggestion that there are only two sides of the story would make it impossible for anyone to sort out events in Ecuador and have any kind of nuanced understanding of what is happening.

People who run around demanding that everyone must line up and march in lockstep either with one side of a narrative or with another tend to be aspiring tyrants, whether on the right or the left.

In Ecuador, there are at least three major forces at play: The traditional right (the oligarchs and foreign interests), the State (center-left, but without the support of the grassroots movements that got it elected), and the grassroots movements as embodied by the CONAIE, whose members have been imprisoned, violently attacked, censored and repressed by that State for redressing their grievances against mining and other interests traditionally allied with the forces of the right, but now with the center-left State, too.

Never accept the commercial media narrative that "there are two sides" or only "two narratives." That's a quick path to intellectual sloth and retardation.

This is not a case of Golinger making honest "mistakes" as you seem to think. You have, above, in my post a clear example of what honest people when we make mistakes: we immediately publish corrections as large and prominently as the original error. That is not something Golinger ever does. And that is what strongly suggests that her repetition of falsehoods is not mere human error, but a malicious act repeated over and over again. If it is an honest mistake, you have be clamoring to any journalist or communicator or blogger who makes one, "Where is the honest correction?' People who dig in their heels and never admit their errors tell us plenty about their lack of trustworthiness and over all low personal character.

Re statement by CONAEI

Seems that Gollinger could have got it wrong with CONAEI and Pachakutik.

However,  Correa provides a FAR better viable alternative for the indigenous than any opposition party, this cannot be overstated.

Marlon Santi has a personal argument with Correa and there is no love lost between them. A closer examination of Santi (who likes to don his tribal paint and getup for the media) finds his views are very radical and not in touch with the average Ecuadorian, or probably even with the average indigenous Ecuadorian. It makes one wonder if Santi cares anything about stability for Ecuador.

It is desperately needed for the government and the indigenous representation need to enter in dialogue because, compared to the opposition, their goals aren't that far apart. Otherwise, the indigenous risk doing the work for neo-liberal opposition groups by getting rid of Correa and only providing a window for the right wing to once again gain power. This will be extremely bad for the indigenous and it is amazing they cannot seem to see it!

But the personal rift between Correa and Santi is so deep that unfortunately it may allow Ecuador to regress in chaos. I believe Santi and other certain indigenous leaders need to swallow their pride and work for overall good of Ecuador and respect the democratic process.

@ Richard

Richard - Where is the evidence that the differences between Correa and CONAIE are, as you claim, a personal matter between one of many indigenous leaders and the president?

And, even if it were, why is the person of the two without State power the one with the burden to "swallow pride"? It seems to me that the president of any country with such resources at his command can have no room for pride at all and the burden is more properly on he who governs.

You should also consider that it is very bigoted to refer to traditional customs of indigenous groups, that have existed long before there was a television or mass media on this earth, as an act of "don(ning) his tribal paint and getup for the media." That's like telling a gay person to remain in the closet, an immigrant to not speak with an accent (or speak his or her native language) or a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or one of any other belief not to express or practice their faiths freely. Think about what you are saying! This is exactly the problem.

But my real difference with your (unsupported) claim that attempts to reduce major political differences to a personality spat is that it attempts to sweep under the rug the very legitimate grievances the CONAIE and others have of the Correa government's violent actions against social movements. That's not a personality driven dispute. It is a matter of basic human rights. And, once again, the burden is properly on the State to cease violating them. It is very difficult to dialogue with a guy who has his boot upon your neck.

Fair comments Al, but I saw

Fair comments Al, but I saw the indigenous out the front of congress attacking police with sticks (ley de aguas protest) and the police responding by doing nothing except trying to protect themselves and just letting the indigenous use violence against them there was certainly no "boot upon [their] neck" ! I couldn´t believe how tolerant the police were! I was really surprised by the tolerance of police in general against protests here in Quito and the freedom people actually have to protest!

Correa definitely needs to swallow his pride on this as well! I totally agree!.

From my informal observations Santi doesnt dress in this traditional way hardly ever, it appears more for media theatrics. But your point is taken and not the main issue.

I agree there are very legitimate grievances, but there is very definitely a deep personal hatred between Santi and Correa and I do not think that all the indigenous people are as much against Correa as implied in the statement, that is why I believe that the of the statement needs to be read with that in mind.

But your views are certaintly thought provoking and provides a refreshing angle.

@ Greg McDonald

Greg - You have given us the link to a document that Golinger claims documents her statements. I have just read that document and it does no such thing. (Typical of that source to toss out a loooong document and claim it makes her case, counting on folks not to bother reading it.)

All it shows is that in 2005 or 2006 (when either Lucio Gutierrez or Alfredo Palacio were president) the NDI spent a total of $1700 in Ecuador to send two "trainers" (at a cost of $850 apiece) to Quito to conduct a training session for members of a political party, and shows absolutely no funds given to anyone in Ecuador. The CONAIE, of course, is not a political party.

I invite you to write to me at narconews@gmail.com if you think that document proves the outrageous claims of Golinger, and show me what I'm supposedly missing. The Pentagon Papers, it ain't. Nor is it WikiLeaks.

It's a Joe McCarthy stunt, waving a piece of paper around yelling "I have a list."

But, jebus, I wish people would use their heads more. How is it that having attended a training session - even if it is the same people (which the document does not at all prove or even suggest and I wince at repeating the falsehood even to counter it, because that's how rumor-mongering and defamation works) - somehow determine what positions those folks are going to take in 2010 regarding a different president? The whole basis is absurd and you ought to consider it an insult to your own intelligence that she thought you would buy that snake oil.

snake oil

I'm not buying anything Al. I'm with you on this one. i just wanted to get you on record. This was posted on marxmail, forwarded to the list from Golinger to Patrick Bond. I want to post your response and anything else you want to add.



Thanks Greg

By all means you may quote my response above and anything else I write here on any mailing list or public forum where it would be useful!

Damn Oligarchs And Their Methods

Thanks for your response Al, very keen arguments. I guess my anger is directed primarily at the oligarchs trying to take over the airwaves with their version of events, I just fear that will tarnish CONAIE's honest, valid protests and complaints because many people in the region get their information from these corporate networks I mentioned above.


Al, You could have mentioned that the document specifically states that Pachakutik received the training from NDI, which has been named by several journalists as being involved with training revolutionary movements elsewhere. Pachakutik and CONAIE in their joint statement have just denied that a coup had taken place after Pachakutik stated its support for Lucio Gutierrez.

I think we're in agreement that the document doesn't say that NDI had a gun to Santi's head all this week, but she's verified clear reason for suspicion as further verification does not come easily.

Excerpt (p. 3):

The numberof people trained on new party reform methodologies and materials through the expanded PPN virtual activities increases.

Since the October 2006 training-of-trainers seminar, Political Party Network master trainers continue to practice their training skills on the Triangle of Party Best P ractices2 and strategic planning methodologies as part of NDI program activities. Twelve seminar participants have reported practicing their training skills on the Triangle of Party Best Practices and strategic planning issues as part of NDI program activities. Participants have also used a private forum to discuss their experiences and share training materials they have developed following the seminar.

The master trainers have provided training for political parties in the following countries: Ecuador -Pachakutik,E thical and Democratic Network (Red Etica y Democracia-RED), Christian Democrat Union (Union Democrata Cristiana-UDC); Venezuela -Democratic Action (Accion Democratica-AD), Justice First (Primero Jus(icia-PJ), and Miranda State Electorate (Electores de Miranda); Colombia -(AfroUNINCCA); Mexico -National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional-PAN); and Peru -Popular Christian Party (Partido Popular Cristiano-PPC).

New Film On What Happened In Ecuador

The Real News has posted a new video by Ecuadorian filmmaker Oscar Leon on last week's events. Would love to see Al's analysis:


Perspective, Ian, Perspective

Ian - Here are some hard facts to compliment your version of events.

1. The entirety of NDI activity in Ecuador shown by that document was the sending of two "trainers" (each earning $850 dollars apiece, so how long do you think they could have been there?) to Ecuador in 2005-2006 and Pachakutik party members were present at a training session.

2. That was before Rafael Correa's presidential campaign. He won with the support of the indigenous movement. So, presuming some folks were "trained" at some (no doubt, boooring) training session, can you say with a straight face that some problem was cause by that? And, if so, what? Be specific. We're sick and tired of the McCarthyist innuendo and the grand push-back has begun.

3. Nothing in that document shows any funding at all to any Ecuadorean organization, much less the CONAIE, but Golinger keeps telling the gullible slow class that the doc provides "irrefutable" evidence that CONAIE has received money. (Cue in Homer Simpson sound effect, "Doh!") She's not very bright, is she?

4. Golinger tweaks her spin to note that the Pachakutik party was "at the time" allied with CONAIE. She has to dress it up that way because subsequently there was a huge break between the two organizations, something that close followers of Ecuadorean politics all know about. But the CONAIE is no more the Pachakutik party than, say, the AFL-CIO is the Democratic Party in the US? Their interests sometimes align, and other times do not. At times the two groups have opposed each other vociferously. Is it really fair or smart to say what some members of one org did five years ago somehow determines what the other org does today? And, again, we're talking about a ho hum training session. Please, a little use of the gray matter applied will bring the conclusion that we're talking about nothing significant at all.

Be specific, Ian, what are you trying to imply? What possible meaning do you find in any of these factoids? Are you saying that the CONAIE's actions in 2010 are corrupted because a few folks from a different organization attended a class in 2005? And if so, how so? Be specific and stop lending yourself to a Joe McCarthy style smear campaign by a college educated gringa of privilege against heroic indigenous social fighters, with a twenty year track record, in Latin America.

Part I of the film is quite good

Max - I think the film you linked gives a pretty good history of the economic crises and the situation with the presidents in Ecuador. (Although it glosses over the more interesting part of the story: what the social movements did to bring down various dictators and put Correa in the presidency, and what has happened to them ever since. Hopefully the filmmaker will address that in Part II.)

Pachakutik organizational decisions

Al, Again when mentioning that “Rafael Correa won with the support of the indigenous movement” in 2006 you neglect to mention that Pachakutik fielded its own candidate in the first round against Correa that year. The rank and file may have indeed supported Correa but the party apparatus didn't. And to follow you into circumstantials, there was indeed a splintering of center-left/left parties that year that came within five points of keeping Correa out of the runoff, which would have left the right-wing Naboa to run against Gutierrez' brother. And no, I'm not suggesting outsiders made these decisions for Pachakutik or assessing any possible outcome of infiltration and training, but simply refuting your logic: “The indigenous movement (read: Pachakutik) supported Correa in 2006, therefore you're wrong” because they didn't.

Pachakutik's reported support for Lucio Gutierrez during this coup (a coup that the joint statement of CONAIE and Pachakutik you're reprinting is denying happened) is counter-intuitive, unless indigenous activists in Peru have suddenly warmed to IMF control of economic policy. So one seeks an explaination for that support, and the FOIA documents appear without any alternate explanation...

never trust the media

``Never accept the commercial media narrative that "there are two sides" or only "two narratives." That's a quick path to intellectual sloth and retardation ''''''

i think the media was saying just one narrative, namely, assumed coup d'etat without real evidence.

CORDURA...Puede surgir la cordura???

Espero que la cordura asuma lugar en los movimientos indigenas de sur-américa PARA QUE SE  REALICE LA REVOLUCIÓN BOLIVARIANA....REVOLUCIÓN  A LA QUE DESDE AQUI APORTO MI GRANITO DE MAÍZ.

Sergio Lagos;

Balderdash, Ian

Ian - Pachakutik, by your own admission, *did* support Correa after the run-off. That is a completely understandable position. Something like fielding your better primary candidate but going against the right wing in the general. But they did support him in the final, and you can't deny it. All you can do is throw McCarthyist garbage to try and confuse and confound the slow class on that undeniable fact.

This is utter bullshit, and you're a total ass for spreading it because it is knowingly false: "So one seeks an explaination for that support, and the FOIA documents appear without any alternate explanation."

Look, Sherlock: You just admitted that you know that Pachakutik supported Correa in the run-off of his first election, and you know that came *after* the reported attendance by some of its members at a single training class supported by NDI. But now you want it both ways. How can you honestly infer that attendance at a 2005 or 2006 training session has anything to do with criticism of Correa in 2010 when you know full well those same forces supported Correa in the final election in 2007? What? Was it a "time release" capsule tossed like a mickey into someone's drink at the 2005 meeting that was not supposed to kick in until five years later? (I suppose that would be a slightly more credible claim than the one you've made here as "explanation.")

You are either a sleazy liar of maximum proportions or you have no cognitive abilities whatsoever. You get zero respect from me. And you should look forward to Monday, when heroic Latin American movement leaders from across the continent weigh in on these pages about the smear campaign that you have made yourself part of. We're not letting this go. We will keep pounding and pounding the true facts out there until the lie crawls back under its rock. And you and those few that you have sided with against the indigenous movements will have to live with the consequences to your credibility after you've been undressed in front of all as malicious, dishonest cretins of low moral character.

(C'mon Al! Tell us how you really feel!)


Al, I don't deny that they supported Correa over Noboa in the general election. You'd have to be a pretty persuasive infiltrator to get an indigenous group to support Noboa, a union-busting banana mogul that had, in the years before the 2006 election, had his corporation boycotted by the National Federation of Free Peasants and Indigenous People of Ecuador, so if you can't pull that off you might punt and hope that you could get them behind Gutierrez in the coming years.

I don't doubt that your profiles of CONAIE members will be informative, am not passing judgment on your motives, and appreciate your work as a journalist and editor, an appreciation not founded in blind loyalty or fear of your anger against dissent in your midst.

There is plenty of dissent here, it's dishonesty I distrust

Ian - Very cute to try and portray my disgust with the perpetration of knowing falsehood as "anger against dissent."

Do you understand the difference between "dissent" and "dishonesty"?

For centuries college-educated US elitists have disparaged the indigenous peoples of these lands with every kind of libel possible, and yours against the good women and men of the CONAIE are absolutely no different. What you're really saying is the modern-day equivalent of "those dirty injuns aren't capable of thinking for themselves, they can be bought by a coffee and a donut or some fire water." Don't think they (or we) haven't seen what you're doing a thousand times before in many, many forms and spins.

In the end, as I've said before, what the indigenous peoples of Ecuador decide is not your decision. But you're sure acting as if it is! It is a colonialist mindset, and therefore prima facie racist, and nor is disgust at racism "anger against dissent."

These pages are filled with dissent. Never upsets me. But the spreading of malicious rumors and lies about people of whom you are not worthy to wash their feet due to the kilometers they have marched and advanced to make real change in their communities and countries.

And as Thomas Paine wrote, "God put hatred in men's hearts for good reason: to ensure justice." What you and an increasingly isolated and discredited group of "left wing colonialists" have tried to do against peoples' own self determination this week is indeed an injustice, not merely a dissent. Too bad for you that you seem incapable of understanding the difference and instead revert to a childish "Mommy! Daddy! He's angry at my dissent!" No. I'm intolerant of your dishonesty and sense of entitlement over the autonomy of indigenous peoples.

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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