Category Archives: Civil & Human Rights

Ecuador: The Construction of a New Model of Domination

For the last several years I have generally been critically supportive of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the renewed wave of radical sentiment and activity it has sparked in the rest of the Latin America. At the same time, while I was initially supportive of Rafael Correa and his so-called Citizens’ Revolution – which at first appeared to the extension of the Bolivarian Revolution to Ecuador – I have in recent years become quite hostile to him and his government.

For those who do not know, Correa and his PAIS Alliance (Proud and Sovereign Fatherland) came to power with the backing of Ecuador’s powerful indigenous and workers’ movements. These same movements brought down three presidents before Correa. So it is safe to say that there was much hope for what changes his leadership might bring. Read the rest of this entry

People’s Tribunal against the Criminalization of Protest in Ecuador

During three days in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, hundreds of representatives from several Latin American countries gathered to share experiences and strategies during the Continental Conference in Defense of Water and Mother Earth. The event took place between June 17 and 23, and was organized as an act of resistance against development projects that threaten this vital resource, Yakumama, our mother water. A letter of intention by the organizers reads, “We hope this gathering will become a permanent process of fellowship to protect water and food sovereignty, to create a new social order in harmony with nature, with justice and equity.”

The conference began with a visit to sites where environmental conflicts have taken place, in Cochapata and San Bartolomé, more specifically, in the southern province of Azuay, both areas affected by mining companies. Read the rest of this entry

Canadian Government Co-opts Sisters In Spirit

On Friday Oct. 29, 2010, the Canadian government announced the end of (by lack of funding) the Sisters in Spirit (SIS) program — disappearing the program just as women disappear — to the point that not even the name or logo of Sisters in Spirit may be used.

The announcement was dumped into the Friday afternoon news cycle, just as was the Federal government’s announcement that it had to agreed to ratify the UN Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [and may I note the announcement was made by a woman, Conservative MP Rona Ambrose].

As defined by its creator the Native Woman’s Association of Canada (NWAC), SIS is/was: a research, education and policy initiative driven and led by Aboriginal women. Our primary goal is to conduct research and raise awareness of the alarmingly high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.” Read the rest of this entry