Ecuador’s Left Wins Support of Indigenous Organizations For Second Round

Ecuador’s leftist Presidential candidate Andrés Arauz is heading into tomorrow’s run-off with the last minute support of key Indigenous organizations under his belt. This backing could help bump the economist into first place on Sunday April 11th. 

In the final week before the Sunday’s vote, the National Confederation of Indigenous and Black Campesino Organizations (FENOCIN), declared their endorsement for Arauz. 

FENOCIN President, Santos Villamar, stated, “We give all our backing to the candidacy of Andrés Arauz and Carlos Rabascall. Here are the reasons; First of all, our organization has clear ideological principles and a clear struggle throughout the 52 years that FENOCIN has existed. Secondly, your proposals for the country coincide with the struggle that we’ve always been fighting. For that reason, I want to say that here, unanimously among the bases, we’ve resolved to support your candidacy this April 11th.”

Arauz thanked the movement for its support on the eve of the April 11th vote via twitter: “Thank you FENOCIN for your support! We are building a new historical block that will allow Ecuador to be reborn, strengthened from this time of so much pain. Almost there. Hope is coming. The future is here.”

The endorsement from FENOCIN came just days after the endorsement from Jaime Vargas, President of the country’s largest Indigenous organization CONAIE, along with Indigenous leaders of the Ecuadorian Amazon. 

The announcement was made on April 3rd in the Amazonian province of Succumbios, where Jaime Vargas told Arauz “Mr. Andrés Arauz, economist, you have the support of all of the nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon.”

The endorsements represent a huge boost to the Arauz campaign, which did not receive backing from these organizations in the first round. Instead, many Indigenous organizations backed Pachakutik, the party they are formally linked with. Pachakutik came in a close third in the February 7th vote and did not reach the second round. 

The endorsements have rolled in as social movements seek to keep right-wing candidate Guillermo Lasso out of office. Lasso is a banker whose proposals include sweeping privatizations and implementation of IMF-imposed austerity measures.