4 February 2001
THE CIVIL-SOCIETY NETWORK PARTICIPATING IN THE SAPRI INITIATIVE ADDRESSES THE GOVERNMENT AND THE COUNTRY
light of the events precipitated by the recent measures that were adopted by
the government, the Civil-Society Network participating in the SAPRI
initiative has made the following statement.
The economic model implemented over the last 20 years is neither
technically nor politically viable. A
study of the effects of adjustment policies carried out by the SAPRI
initiative -- to which the Government of Ecuador and the World Bank are also
party -- showed that the application of adjustment policies in our country
had truly disastrous consequences on the living conditions of the
population, on production and on employment.
In light of this evidence and the ever greater resistance that the
implementation of these policies generates, the majority of social sectors
in Ecuador have proposed to government authorities that a broad-based
discussion begin in order to analyze the possibility of establishing and
implementing economic policies that ensure national development under
conditions of equality for all Ecuadorans.
Recent governments have ignored offers of alternative ideas to
overcome the crisis, as well as repeated calls for dialogue.
Throughout 20 years, without any creativity or inventiveness, they
have continued to apply adjustment measures, such as those recently
implemented, by imposition with the support of the International Monetary
Fund and the lone backing from ever smaller business circles.
This explains the profound political isolation in which recent
governments have found themselves.
Certain chambers of commerce, actually very few, request and demand
"a hard hand" to repress the indigenous peoples and all those who have
been mobilizing. While they
speak of violation of the Constitution and the laws of the country, one
should ask with what right they do so, as it is publicly known that many of
these sectors consider themselves above the Constitution and the country's
laws. Many of these same
sectors have benefited from the application of the neoliberal policies they
like to defend, and many are linked to the largest and most scandalous
pilfering of the state's resources. No
one is unaware that in Ecuador it is some of these sectors which, when the
government does not please their every wish, threaten to separate Guayaquil
from the rest of the country, foster discontent and promote mobilizations
such as that of the "black ribbons".
No where in the world have repression, prison and crime been shown to
be effective in containing the discontent and anger of the people. One
need not go far to confirm this, as evidenced by what occurred in Paraguay
and in Peru, and what we see occurring daily in Colombia where
institutionalized crime has not stopped the historic struggle of the
This can be an historic opportunity for the government to show
sensitivity toward a people who have been hard hit by 20 years of economic
adjustment packages. Nothing
would help overcome the current crisis more than a manifestation of
comprehension by the government for the demands and aspirations of all the
population. The only real
solution to the current political crisis is to convene an open dialogue on
the future of Ecuador.
7. Our network is committed to contributing so that this dialogue can develop based on reasoning and national interests. To design and implement a proposal for an alternative national economic program is a long-standing aspiration toward which we and many sectors have been working. We invite President Gustavo Noboa, Finance Minister Jorge Gallardo and other government authorities to join in this effort. The challenge is posed.
behalf of the Civil-Society Network