Ecuador

Once again Ecuador started the year with mass demonstrations and strikes. For ten days the whole of the country was paralysed by peasant road blocks, demonstrations and occupations of government buildings. A year after the revolutionary events of January 2000 very little has changed for the masses of workers and poor peasants who fought for a fundamental change in their living conditions.

Once again Ecuador started the year with mass demonstrations and strikes. For ten days the whole of the country was paralysed by peasant road blocks, demonstrations and occupations of government buildings. A year after the revolutionary events of January 2000 very little has changed for the masses of workers and poor peasants who fought for a fundamental change in their living conditions.

Since the revolution in January, in which the masses took power for a few hours and were betrayed, Ecuador seems to have returned to normal. The new president Noboa gave the go-ahead to a package of laws which mean the "dollarisation" of the economy, the deregulation of the labour market and massive privatisations. But inevitably, these measures are preparing the way for a new social explosion.

After a week of mass mobilisation, demonstrations, strikes and clashes, on Friday 21st of January tens of thousands of Indians, peasants, workers and students in Ecuador took over one by one the buildings of the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the National Palace and established an alternative government. Faced with these events the world's mass media, which had remained silent for the whole week, started to scream that a military coup had overthrown the government of president Jamil Mahuad. It is therefore necessary to clarify first of all that what has happened in Ecuador in the last week is a revolution.

On 14 October, the Ecuadorian government of Lenín Moreno repealed decree 883. After days of struggle and mobilisations that had reached insurrectional proportions, Moreno was forced to make an important concession in the face of the danger of being overthrown by revolutionary means. The uprising of workers, peasants and students has achieved a first victory, a partial one, at the cost of eight dead, 1,340 wounded and 1,192 detained.