Urgent: Seizure of Congress in Ecuador
January 21, 3:35 PM

People Seize Congress in Ecuador

This morning, massive popular forces took over the building of the National Congress and, later of the Supreme Court of Justice. The seizure began yesterday with a blockade around the Congress carried out by some five thousand indigenous people as well as other popular organizations, such as the Patriotic Front, as well as the CONAIE and other social movements.

The unitary struggle which took place in various provinces, has borne fruit with the formation yesterday of a permanent coordination between the Patriotic Front and the Parliament of the Peoples led by the CONAIE.

The seizure of Congress, carried out by the CONAIE, received support from important officers of the Ecuadorian Army, who supported the formation of a Junta of the Government of National Salvation, whose central purpose is to give support to the popular interests and to punish the corrupt ones. These officers are Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, Captains and others.

Among them, are Colonel Lucio Gutierrez, who would become President of the Junta, together with Antonio Vargas, president of the CONAIE and other names to be indicated.

Colonel Fausto Cobo, Director of the War Academy, with the support of 120 of its officers, have given their support to the popular struggle; also some 200 officers of the Polytechnic School of the Army and Police Colonel Fausto Terán.

The Presidential Palace is surrounded by military and police troops.

Forces of the Patriotic Front took for some minutes the Governor=s Building of Guayas and the Governors= Buildings of Cotopaxi and Carchi are still being held. In Cuenca, after strong confrontations over the Governor=s Building of Azuay, this is was taken and at the moment the renunciation of the Governor is being discussed as well as the formation of a Provincial Civic Junta to be formed by the Bishop of Cuenca, Monseigneur Luna, Gustavo Vega, Rector of the State University of Cuenca, Marco Auquilla President of the Popular Front of Azuay, a representative of PachaKutik and one from the CONAIE.

The possibility is not ruled out of confrontations around the Congress.

The taxi drivers of Quito are joining the action, paralyzing and blocking streets. Just now, a national strike of ground transport was decreed.


All the indigenous=, union, teachers=, women=s, neighborhood, rural and left political organizations that form part of the Patriotic Front have decided to integrate themselves and to participate in all the popular actions, supporting the actions and participating directly in the seizures. The oil workers are taking over the facilities of their industry, the workers of other sectors will do the same thing and UNE will proceed to take over the Provincial Education Offices.

In the same way, the Patriotic Front will give its support to the Junta of National Salvation in order to put into effect the Patriotic Program of National Unity.

Without being certain of the outcome of all these actions, it will be a great lesson for our people on the road to the seizure of the power and the construction of the Popular Power. The PCMLE, the Popular Front and the Patriotic Front cannot be spectators of a popular uprising for which they have worked and initiated with the day of struggle of January 6. We know that is a moment of definitions and in that way we will act.


At the moment, the Joint Command of the Armed Forces they have requested the resignation of President Mahuad and they have called for the unity of the military forces around the Constitution. The difficult situation will only be resolved with his resignation, but also with the departure of the whole Government.

The answer of imperialism and the oligarchy, who are no longer defending Mahuad, will not be one of a simple acceptance of a Junta of National Salvation. Neither will the high military command accept it, what we can see is that this is not yet the end of the situation.

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