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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ecuador protests to continue

CONAIE leaders continue to pressure the state of Ecuador.

Indian leader nixes call to end protests
GONZALO SOLANO
Associated Press
QUITO, Ecuador - The leader of Ecuador's main Indian movement on Thursday rejected President Alfredo Palacio's call to end protests against free-trade talks with the United States.

"We will continue to mobilize and radicalize the protests in favor of life and against the free-trade agreement," Luis Macas, leader of Ecuador's main Indian movement, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, said in a statement. "There will be neither dialogue nor contact with the government."

Police, however, said the protest was slowing as provincial governors called for an end to the protest following government pledges to invest more on social spending and public works in their areas.

In the face of the unrest, Palacio went on national television Wednesday and urged Ecuadorans to "close ranks" to defend the country's democracy. The president said the protests were "the culmination of deceptive politics that seeks to perversely tear apart the nation."

CONAIE began blockading roads and highways Monday and has threatened to overthrow Palacio's government if he signs a free-trade pact with the U.S. complete article

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