Someone whose presence is missed on this blog noted that the Fertl article from Green Left Weekly is some good context on Ecuador. The latest on Ecuador from IPS: the new boss, Alfredo Palacio, says he’s planning to complete the term of Lucio Gutierrez, even though the protesters demand that he hold elections in 4 months. He plans to build a government of national unity that will govern until January 2007. Palacios is also going to keep the FTA negotiations with the US on track. And keep Ecuador a military base for the US. Meet the new boss, etc.
On Toribio. I am still working on the many reports coming in. Colombia Indymedia is a good source and ACIN’s own website, if you can read Spanish (ACIN is linked on the right). But what is important to know, most important, is that the people of Toribio have demands: In the short term, they want all the armed actors out and the demilitarization of their region. In the long term, they want a negotiated solution to the conflict. To that end they are holding a forum tomorrow (Friday April 22) in the main city of Northern Cauca, Santander de Quilichao. Right in the middle of it all. It’s just another example of their humbling resolve and resilience. Years ago, my friend Arquimedes Vitonas (who is currently the mayor of Toribio but wasn’t at the time) told me that “To us, the idea of accompaniment is sacred — being with someone or being there for someone on a personal level but also on a community or political level.”
Well, I’d want them to know that they are accompanied now. If there’s a lot of accompaniment it could make a difference at this crucial time. More soon.