The white smoke in Ecuador was almost blown away by the wind. When the leaders of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie) and their allies were about to sign the Peace Act with the Government, the protests of the indigenous people present in the negotiating room caused a momentary retreat. And that each one had already released a small speech with their political harangues, as if everything had ended.

Discussions, recesses and voting in a tug-of-war within the indigenous community until the signature finally arrived to end the National Strike after 18 days of protests, blockades, violent confrontations and millionaire losses for the country. It took only a few hours this Thursday morning for both parties to reach an agreement with the mediation of the Episcopal Conference and, especially, the Archbishop of Guayaquil, Monsignor Luis Cabrera.

“It is not a total gain, but we must learn to recognize the triumphs that the people have by taking to the streets. There are points with which we do not agree, but to pacify the country we must accept,” recognized Leónidas Iza, the maximum leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie).

The Peace Act signed by both parties contemplates a new reduction in the price of diesel and gasoline by five cents, in addition to the 10 already approved in the midst of the conflict. During the next 90 days, the dialogue commission that arose from this process will continue to discuss Conaie’s proposals to “resolve pending issues.”

Prior to this signing, the Government had already promised to attack price speculation, declare an emergency in the health sector, increase the human development bonus, repeal decree 95 that affects the oil sector and reform decree 151, which will prevent development mining in protected areas. The Government will also repeal the state of emergency imposed yesterday in four provinces.

“The only winner must be Ecuador, these days have been a lesson for everyone. We know that we have a country with many fractures and that is what this government has to solve,” admitted Francisco Jiménez, Minister of Government.

In this way, the protesters who are still in Quito will return to their communities, despite Iza’s compliments, excluded from the dialogue by President Guillermo Lasso himself, in a decision that lasted just a few hours. “You have to be careful with your words, they come out angry to say that they will not talk with Iza and here we are,” the radical leader said ironically.

Despite the delay of the final signature, the decision of both parties was welcomed with joy in a country that was on the limit, with a majority willing to return to work normally.

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