CONFEDERATION OF INDIGENOUS NATIONALITIES OF ECUADOR
The Association of Agricultural Workers of Yuracruz, in the province of Imbabura, made up of 61 members and their families, received the title of the ex-hacienda lands from IERAC (the Agrarian Reform and Colonization Institute) on October 8th, 1992, after a long period of debate and the payment of the respective price.
Since that moment they have been victims of the ex-owners of the hacienda, who, working with land traffickers of Carchi, have resorted to arms to try to expel the members of the cooperative.
October 15, the ex-land owners attacked violently, resulting in one death. Today, November 12, they again invaded the property belonging to the Yuracruz cooperative, accompanied by two cars filled with armed paramilitary men, and they have been burning the houses of the cooperative, keeping the members cornered in the highest parts of the ex-hacienda.
We have sent urgent communications to the Minister of Government, and to the Governor of the Province of Imbabura, asking for police control of the situation because the consequences of such violent aggression could be dreadful. Concurrently we have asked for an comprehensive investigation into the illegal possession of arms, because under the protection of the paramilitary bands, the ex-landowners feel they have the right to invade and attack whoever opposes their interests.
We inform the country and the world of this situation, including human rights and popular organizations, so that they may protest and reject these actions which are in violation of many basic legal rights, and the rights to life of the members of the Yuracruz cooperative.
We hold the relevant authorities responsible. Now that they are aware of what is occurring, it is their obligation to protect the rights of the cooperative members. Please fax letters of support demanding prompt action to: The Minister of Governement, Dr. Roberto Dunn Barreiro - (5932) 580-067
C O N A I E
CONFEDERACION DE NACIONALIDADES INDIGENAS DEL ECUADOR
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