by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog
Ecuador, the fight against IMF austerity measures is far from over. Just a few hours after my article was published on Sunday, 13 October, Ecuador – and the IMF’s Killing Spree – https://www.globalresearch.ca/, President Lenin Moreno declared the infamous Decree 883 as canceled, i.e. the astronomical price increases for fuel were reversed, the (police) state of emergency and curfew were called off. He wanted to put an end to the 11 days of police and military violence-induced protests that beset mainly Quito.
The police, supported by the army carried out repression during the protests, like they have not been seen in Ecuador’s recent history, claiming at least 7 death, about 1,340 injured and more than 1,100 arrested. The streets of Quito were an absolute chaos; destruction, fire, tear gas, smoke.
Other austerity measures included, shrinking government spending, laying off 23,000 state employees, privatization of social services and infrastructure – and more – all linked to the IMF loan of US$ 4.2 billion, were also “canceled”. At least, so it looked and sounded at the outset.
This apparent victory was achieved largely thanks to the indigenous movement, the Conaie (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) – an umbrella organization of indigenous groups across Ecuador. They have relentlessly fought for their rights and against the ferocious abrogation of all the social benefits they acquired – finally – during the years of Rafael Correa’s socialist government – which served, and still serves, an example for much of Latin America.
Not the indigenous groups, or anybody else of the Ecuadorian people – were consulted about the IMF loan. The basic IMF deal was already brokered in January 2019, when Lenin Moreno met Madame Lagarde, at that time still head of the IMF at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. There were just some “minor issues” that Moreno had to resolve before he could sign this horrendous debt onto Ecuador’s books.
One of the “issues” was a request by the US via its extended arm, the IMF – to expel Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, to bring him closer to extradition to the US, where he may face the death penalty,