With their thumbs up as a victory sign, the leaders of the Indigenous Nationalities Confederation of Ecuador (Conaie for its Spanish acronym, Humberto Cholango, and Delfin Tenesaca arrived to the park El Arbolito, leading thousands of indigenous after a five hour walk. The march from the Amazon took fifteen days.
At 14:30 (GMT) the walkers crossed their goal, the symbolic park of the capital that in the morning had been occupied by sympathizers of Correa. After a purification ritual, the Amazon natives calling themselves the Army of Arutam, had their faces painted black, carrying chonta spears took the point in the march to protect their leaders.
After a brief struggle the police let the crowd pass, in that moment the full force of the indigenous walkers was seen in a multicolor crowd. Once the walkers reached the park El Arbolito, Cholango spoke first, “We have raised with dignity to tell the government of Rafael Correa to see, to listen, that here is the people asking against the mining and that he must not rule with parties of right.”
Conaie feels betrayed by Rafael Correa, whom they supported in 2007, meanwhile the president of FUT warned of a similar march on May 1, Labor Day. (AV)