Defend Social Justice in Ecuador - Oppose Right-wing Destabilisation
We condemn the recent wave of right-wing violence in Ecuador in opposition to redistributive proposals by the government of President Rafael Correa. The proposals to increase the inheritance and capital gains taxes of the top 2 percent of the society are designed to address the persistent inequality in the country.
Despite reforms that have taken 1.1 million people out of poverty, that have more than doubled the minimum wage, increased access and quality of education and health among numerous other social and economic gains, the country still struggles with the inherited legacy of a major gaps between the rich and poor.
In response to initiating parliamentary debate to this fair tax reform, privileged sectors initiated aggressive protests aiming to occupy the offices of the governing PAIS Alliance of President Correa. Some of these right-wing protests turned violent, with bottles and other objects being thrown at government supporters gathered to ward off any attack on the facilities. Several people, including the former minister of culture, were injured.
Even though President Correa retracted the law in order to initiate a participatory, public debate on how to address wealth distribution and inequality in the country, these opposition sectors – overwhelmingly from the upper classes – have continued their protests, openly calling for the fall of the elected government.
The destabilization efforts are not new, and less than 5 years ago many of these same sectors and opposition leaders participated in or supported the failed coup attempt on September 30, 2010., that left 5 dead and many injured. The latest protests are a continuation of an orchestrated campaign to undermine and topple a democratic and popular government.
Governments in the region and the head of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) have spoken out in defence of the elected and legitimate government of Rafael Correa and against any destabilization plans
President Correa and his party have won ten consecutive elections including two presidential elections with the support of vast majority of the long excluded population and social organizations including Indigenous peoples, labour movements and social movements.. Recent polling puts Correa's popularity at between 60-85 percent, making one of the world's most supported leaders.
Nonetheless, the progressive reforms and redistributive policies have also won him and his Citizen's Revolution many powerful, well-resourced enemies.
We, the undersigned groups, social movements, organizations and individuals express our support to the Ecuadorean people, their sovereign will and their elected government.
We support the spirit of President Correa's move to address inequality in his country through progressive tax reform, an example which many other countries including our own should follow.
We reject efforts to undermine the Citizen's’ Revolution, especially through media manipulation and violence, and support the government efforts calling for dialogue to reaffirm concrete policies to continue with social advances in the country.