In a statement
signed by the president of the Conference, Bishop Nestor Herrera, the
bishops warned that confrontations between the two sides do nothing to
help maintain harmony among Ecuadorians.
“We accept (the
government’s) principle that recourse to violence must be abandoned
before there can be dialogue, but we also believe that this principle
is valid in normal circumstances--not in an explosive situation such as
the one we are experiencing,” the bishops stated.
emphasize that their mediation in the conflict is not in response to an
invitation by either one of the parties, although last Wednesday they
did pass on a proposal by the Confederation to the government, which
promptly rejected it.
communities that make up the Confederation launched a series of
protests and roadblocks after the Ecuadorian government announced it
would enter into free trade negotiations with the United States.
days of protests, Confederation leaders announced a momentary halt to
the demonstrations. The Ecuadorian government said it would
maintain a state of emergency in the provinces where protests are being
Bishops’ Conference of Ecuador has called on that country’s government
to act deliberately on the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities,
and not to provoke confrontations that only endanger the country.