​Patricio Santi, a FEINE leader, participates in the protests in Quito, Ecuador.

By Lynda Hollinger-Janzen
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

After two weeks of protests that have brought Ecuador's economy to a standstill, Mennonite mediators may have a role in restoring justice and peace to a country that has been devastated by the pandemic and the government's lack of response to human suffering.

Since June 13, thousands of Indigenous people have been protesting rising food and fuel prices in Ecuador. Mennonite Mission Network's partner FEINE (Council of Indigenous Evangelical Peoples and Organizations) has joined in the protests led by the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador). Students, workers and health professionals have also joined them, bringing the country's economy to a standstill. At least seven people have died in the protests.

After two weeks, President Guillermo Lasso lowered diesel and gasoline prices. In response, the protestors agreed to talk about concessions that may be mutually agreeable. Mennonites are seeking ways to help with the negotiations. Peter Wigginton of Mission Network; FEINE's president, Eustaquio Tuala; Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Ecuador (ICME, Mennonite Christian Church of Ecuador) spokesperson, Julián Guamán; and Alexandra Meneses of Iglesia Cristiana Anabautista Menonita de Ecuador (ICAME, Anabaptist Mennonite Christian Church of Ecuador) are helping connect Mennonite mediators with those who are in the process of seeking a just resolution. Negotiations led by the Catholic church stalled on June 28.

Edison Aguagallo, an Indigenous (Puruwa) young adult and member of an ICME congregation, is making his voice heard in the streets. He said that the protests are motivated by people's dissatisfaction with the government's new austerity laws, which have compounded the suffering of the pandemic. He cited health problems, due to a lack of medicine, and diminishing possibilities for young people, as their education has been interrupted. 

"Families no longer have enough for daily sustenance," Aguagallo said. "This racist government has gone against the rights of citizens and is using the army to criminalize our protest. Public servants have betrayed the people. And despite the deaths, the president does not offer a viable solution but only uses bandages to cover the wounds."

In addition to working toward a mediation proposal, churches in Riobamba are providing food for the protestors.

Iglesia Cristiana Anabautista Menonita de Ecuador (ICAME), the Quito Mennonite Church issued a statement that "applauds the courage of the Indigenous people who raise their voices and are always at the forefront when it comes to defending the rights of an entire country."

ICAME statement continues:

"…the entire Ecuadorian population has been plunged into increasing impoverishment, which is reflected in the lack of opportunities in employment, healthcare and education. The scandalous increase in the prices of necessities accentuates inequalities and [increases] poverty and social exclusion. Added to this is the violence and insecurity that we are experiencing throughout Ecuador, which has caused discontent, due to the lack of timely responses from the national government to all these demands.
"This situation leads us as an Anabaptist Mennonite Christian Church of Ecuador — a church whose history is focused on the promotion of peace, non-violence, and the practice of justice and reconciliation — to make a call to seek paths of peace, of dialogue, of just agreements, of concrete responses to the demands of the people and not to criminalize people's legitimate right to protest. We reject violence wherever it comes from! Following our principles and values, we will defend the cause of the neediest and the oppressed.

"We believe that the peace that Ecuador needs at this time is a lasting peace, based on social justice and the promotion of dignified life. Our priority is to promote spaces for real, assertive dialogue, where participants listen and respond concretely and timely, without demagoguery or triumphalism…
"We pray that God will enlighten and challenge the hearts of the people who have the power to do good and justice." 


 

 

 Related

 

 

Youth Venture Borderlands tour in photosPhoto essayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4749/Youth-Venture-Borderlands-tour-in-photosYouth Venture Borderlands tour in photosGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
More Mustard Seeds: Director of Mennonite Bible School in South Africa releases book on forgivenessMore Mustard Seedshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4733/More-Mustard-Seeds-Director-of-Mennonite-Bible-School-in-South-Africa-releases-book-on-forgivenessMore Mustard Seeds: Director of Mennonite Bible School in South Africa releases book on forgivenessGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
For MVS placement, everyday is ‘World Nature Conservation Day’MVShttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4732/For-MVS-placement-everyday-is-World-Nature-Conservation-DayFor MVS placement, everyday is ‘World Nature Conservation Day’GP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Colorado
The 2022 Mennonite World Conference Assembly in photosGALLERYhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4731/The-2022-Mennonite-World-Conference-Assembly-in-photosThe 2022 Mennonite World Conference Assembly in photosGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Delbert Erb served God in Argentina for more than seven decadesObituaryhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4723/Delbert-Erb-served-God-in-Argentina-for-more-than-seven-decadesDelbert Erb served God in Argentina for more than seven decadesGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Mennonite Mission Network partners seek mediation between protestors, governmentMennonite Mediatorshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4722/Mennonite-Mission-Network-partners-seek-mediation-between-protestors-governmentMennonite Mission Network partners seek mediation between protestors, governmentGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
More Mustard Seeds: Small beginnings nurtured in relationships lead to transformationMore Mustard Seedshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4721/More-Mustard-Seeds-Small-beginnings-nurtured-in-relationships-lead-to-transformationMore Mustard Seeds: Small beginnings nurtured in relationships lead to transformationGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Ambassadors of reconciliation trained in BelgiumHoly Trinity Brusselshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4718/Ambassadors-of-reconciliation-trained-in-BelgiumAmbassadors of reconciliation trained in BelgiumGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Brussels
Mennonite conferences in Ecuador bridge coast and mountains to celebrate fellowship togetherEcuadorhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4717/Mennonite-conferences-in-Ecuador-bridge-coast-and-mountains-to-celebrate-fellowship-togetherMennonite conferences in Ecuador bridge coast and mountains to celebrate fellowship togetherGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Quito
Mennonite Voluntary Service, a program of Mennonite Mission Network, closes unit in Washington, DCMVShttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4715/Mennonite-Voluntary-Service-closes-unit-in-Washington-DCMennonite Voluntary Service, a program of Mennonite Mission Network, closes unit in Washington, DCGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Journal of African Christian Biography offers Anabaptist history to global readershipJournal of African Christian Biographyhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4713/Journal-of-African-Christian-Biography-offers-Anabaptist-history-to-global-readershipJournal of African Christian Biography offers Anabaptist history to global readershipGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Bokgoni Sporting Club builds community with May 22 eventBokgoni Sporting Clubhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4711/Bokgoni-Sporting-Club-builds-community-with-May-22-eventBokgoni Sporting Club builds community with May 22 eventGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Francistown
Mission Network family to join ministry of hospitality for refugees in FranceRefugee ministryhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4707/Mission-Network-family-to-join-ministry-of-hospitality-for-refugees-in-FranceMission Network family to join ministry of hospitality for refugees in FranceGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Calais
Russian and Ukrainian students in Lithuania support refugeesUkrainehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4708/Russian-and-Ukrainian-students-in-Lithuania-support-refugeesRussian and Ukrainian students in Lithuania support refugeesGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Klaipėda
Youth Venture trip provides mentorship, plants seeds for future serviceYouth Venture/SOOP hybridhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4706/Youth-Venture-trip-provides-mentorship-plants-seeds-for-future-serviceYouth Venture trip provides mentorship, plants seeds for future serviceGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Kykotsmovi, Arizona

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4722/Mennonite-Mission-Network-partners-seek-mediation-between-protestors-government

​Lynda Hollinger-Janzen is a writer for Mennonite Mission Network.

 

 

Youth Venture Borderlands tour in photoshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4749/Youth-Venture-Borderlands-tour-in-photosYouth Venture Borderlands tour in photos
More Mustard Seeds: Director of Mennonite Bible School in South Africa releases book on forgivenesshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4733/More-Mustard-Seeds-Director-of-Mennonite-Bible-School-in-South-Africa-releases-book-on-forgivenessMore Mustard Seeds: Director of Mennonite Bible School in South Africa releases book on forgiveness
For MVS placement, everyday is ‘World Nature Conservation Day’https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4732/For-MVS-placement-everyday-is-World-Nature-Conservation-DayFor MVS placement, everyday is ‘World Nature Conservation Day’
The 2022 Mennonite World Conference Assembly in photoshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4731/The-2022-Mennonite-World-Conference-Assembly-in-photosThe 2022 Mennonite World Conference Assembly in photos
Delbert Erb served God in Argentina for more than seven decadeshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4723/Delbert-Erb-served-God-in-Argentina-for-more-than-seven-decadesDelbert Erb served God in Argentina for more than seven decades
Mennonite Mission Network partners seek mediation between protestors, governmenthttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4722/Mennonite-Mission-Network-partners-seek-mediation-between-protestors-governmentMennonite Mission Network partners seek mediation between protestors, government



 

 

Monthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the wellhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4748/Monthly-food-packages-provide-a-chance-to-meet-Jesus-at-the-wellMonthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the wellColombia
Youth Venture Borderlands tour in photoshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4749/Youth-Venture-Borderlands-tour-in-photosYouth Venture Borderlands tour in photosPhoto essay
Sent Network church planting Fall 2022 sessionshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/church-planting/sent/4729/Sent-Network-peace-church-planting-Fall-2022-sessionSent Network church planting Fall 2022 sessionsRegister today!
Inscríbase para Enviadoshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/church-planting/sent/enviados/4746/Inscribase-para-EnviadoInscríbase para EnviadosInscríbase aquí
El programa Enviados es resultado un esfuerzo colectivohttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/church-planting/sent/enviados/4747/El-programa-Enviados-es-resultado-un-esfuerzo-colectivoEl programa Enviados es resultado un esfuerzo colectivo
Women of faith conferencehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/leadership/4734/Women-of-faith-conferenceWomen of faith conferenceSept. 29–Sunday, Oct. 2