Ecuadorians Condemn the Presence of Alvaro Uribe
Colombia’s Narco-President Not Welcome in Neighboring Land
By Ecuadorian Leaders and Organizations
Translated by The Narco News Bulletin
August 20, 2003
Publisher’s Note: Colombian President Alvaro Uribe – on the heels of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s war plan-making visit to Colombia this week to ready “Plan Colombia II” – now heads to neighboring Ecuador where a newly subordinated (by Washington) President Lucio Gutiérrez is expected to receive him at 8:00 a.m. Friday at a military airbase north of the capital city of Quito.
But as this letter, obtained and translated by Narco News, signed by so many important social leaders and organizations in Ecuador shows, Gutiérrez’s acquiescence to Washington is causing the same kind of popular rumble that led to precipitous and disgraced ends to the terms of previous Ecuadorian presidents. The People of Ecuador – as Narco News Andean Bureau Chief Luis Gómez predicted last weekend – are beginning to speak.
Quito, August 20, 2003
Manifesto by the country’s social organizations:
WE REJECT THE PRESENCE OF ALVARO URIBE IN ECUADOR
1. Just as we rejected the presence of (then Colombian president) Andrés Prastrana in late September, 2000, when he came to deceitfully “inaugurate” a new agreement (which nobody now remembers) with his colleague (then president of Ecuador) Gustavo Noboa, as if to sell the lie of the supposed “kindness” that Plan Colombia would bring to the country, just as during the last three years we objected to the arrival of US military leaders, today we condemn, with similar or greater intensity, the visit of current Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Uribe has eagerly provided a trench for the Colombian elite’s blatant subjugation to Washington’s militaristic plans for the entire Andean region, and he has tried to regionalize his arrogant strategy of total war with the help of the Lucio Guriérrez regime and Ecuadorian conservative political elite.
2. Uribe is not welcome in Ecuador because he has systematically refused to acknowledge the irreversible environmental, social and human damage caused by fumigations in Ecuadorian territory; because he has refused to admit to the inhuman consequences that his “iron fist” policy has caused with regard to refugees, their displacement, and human rights violations; because, true to the tradition of the Santander elite, his was the only South American government to support the invasion of Iraq and later asked that the US continue into Colombia. Uribe has tried – without much success – to win European support for the military option, and has asked for UN Blue Berets and multinational forces to come to his country. Today, he tries today to involve Ecuador in his blind war plans with the so-called “Plan Colombia II,” just as he tries to involve all the countries of Latin American with the resurrection of the dead and buried Inter-American Reciprocal Aid Treaty (TIAR, in its Spanish initials), which allowed for the completion of a secret dream of the Colombian elite: the intervention of continental military assistance on the ground and in the skies of Colombia.
3. Just as our country has always rejected Plan Colombia, as well as the US military base at Manta, just as we condemned the Andean Regional Initiative, we now reject the so-called “Anti-Terrorism Strategy” of Presidents Uribe and Bush for the continent. If Uribe tries to involve Ecuador and the other countries of the area in its total war, following his year-old “firm hand” policy, he will get disappointing results because, strategically, his militaristic plans are doomed to fail. Uribe, who offers total impunity from charges of treason in exchange for “peace” with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia and the paramilitaries which he helped form in Urabá, now tries to share the inevitable failure of his arrogant counterinsurgency strategy with the other Andean governments by dragging them into his bloody policy – just as Bush hopes to share the failures of his occupation and the daily loss of soldiers by bringing the United Nations and Europe into Iraq.
4. Uribe is to South America what Ariel Sharon is to the Middle East. The hawkish Colombian elite is to the Andean region what Israel is to its neighboring countries – it provokes conflict on virtually all its borders; it incites diplomatic operations and psychological war against Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela because Chávez said a dignified “no” to Colombia’s UN military intervention initiatives; Uribe caused (Ecuador president) Gutiérrez to embarrass himself at the Cuzco (Peru) summit, and went so far as to provoke strange incidents in Brasil, Perú and even far-away México. The Arial Sharon of the Andes needs a junior partner in Ecuador, and the partner for which he so eagerly searches is Mr. Lucio (along with the conservative political elite). Once the rightward shift of the regime becomes an undeniable fact, Uribe’s role as the man in charge will be sealed.
5. Nonetheless, Mr. Gutiérrez, you can’t buy your stability at the cost of subordinating the country, its soldiers and their families to an irrevocable gamble that, may, possibly, win you a wink from Washington or the applauding “friendship” of the Colombian elite. We remind you that your predecessors, Jamil Mahuad and Gustavo Noboa, tried to ingratiate themselves with similar friends by ceding the base at Manta and sending us into the dead-end of dollarization. We all remember how Mahuad and Noboa were finished.
6. All the patriotic analysts and noteworthy retired officials who have been interviewed in Ecuador agree that military participation in the Colombian civil war would make the historic conflict we maintain with Perú look like a child’s game by comparison. We warn that military participation need not be direct – with troops sent to the Putumayo (Colombian province bordering Ecuador) or Bogotá – but that it could be in the style of Cambodia or Honduras. That is to say, participation could mean serving as the “anvil” to the “hammer” that Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Uribe are preparing for the Andean-Amazon region.
7. If Mr. Gutiérrez is disposed to serve as Plan Colombia’s “best ally” in the Andean zone, he is mistaken; we will oppose him and Mr. Uribe head-on. Because we love Colombia and its peaceful people, we condemn Uribe Vélez and his regional war strategy. We demand that the Colombian government not drag its own people, Ecuador, and the Andean region into the abyss of a military and environmental gamble with disastrous consequences for all our peoples.
8. Hopefully, Mr. Guriérrez will have the decency to demand just reparations and legitimate compensation from his Colombian colleague for our people of the border provinces, for the environmental, human and social damage caused by the implementation of Plan Colombia, fumigations and military operations in our territory and the Andean region.
9. We exhort the mayor of Quito, Gen. (ret.) Paco Moncayo, to abstain from giving the Keys to the City to Mr. Uribe Vélez, as a signal of solidarity with the local authorities of the border zone, including his comrade Gen. (ret.) René Yandún, who has always questioned Plan Colombia. Finally, we ask all citizens that, in defense of our national dignity, we express the concern of the Ecuadorian people over “Plan Colombia II,” which will provoke geopolitical instability and more human, environmental and social harm in the country and the Andean region.
We sign this manifesto:
Padre Eduardo Delgado, Coordinadora de Movimientos Sociales, CMS
Alexis Ponce, Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos, APDH
Pedro de la Cruz, Federación de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indígenas y Negras, FENOCIN
Marco Murillo, Federación de Indígenas Evangélicos del Ecuador, FEINE
Ernesto Castillo, Frente Popular
Faustín Valencia, Federación de Trabajadores Petroleros del Ecuador, FETRAPEC
Diego Rivera, Comité de Empresa de Trabajadores Petroleros, CETAPE
José Marchán, Federación Nacional de Afiliados al Seguro Social Campesino, FEUNASSC
Napoleón Saltos, CMS
Edgar Ponce, Red Nacional Sindical de Trabajadores Eléctricos ENLACE
Santiago Yagual, Confederación de Trabajadores del Ecuador, CTE
Mesías Tatamuez, CEDOCUT
Francisco Manjarres Patiño, CTE
José Agualsaca, Federación Ecuatoriana de Indios, FEI
Pablo de la Vega, Centro de Documentación de DDHH “Segundo Montes Mozo”, CSMM
Iván Mosquera, Federación de Barrios
Eduardo Alcívar, Red Sindical Eléctrica ENLACE
Magdalena Vélez, Frente Popular
Sonia Andrade, Coordinadora de Movimientos Sociales de la Tercera Edad, CONAMOSOTEE
Fidel Narváez, Plataforma Interamericana de DDHH, Democracia y Desarrollo, Cap. Ecuador
José Chusín, FUOS
Luis Dután, UGTE
Manuel Moya, Frente Popular
Carlos Espín, Comité de Empresa de Trabajadores de la Empresa Eléctrica Quito, CE-EEQ
Héctor Pacheco, CE-EEQ
Gilberto Basantes, FEI
María Augusta Calle, ALTERCOM
Mauricio Gallardo, Grupo Civil de Monitoreo de los Impactos del Plan Colombia en el Ecuador
Jaime Arciniega, CEOSL Presidencia de turno del Frente Unitario de los Trabajadores, FUT (*)
Lea Ud. el Artículo en Español
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