Bolivia: Letter from mass Indigenous movement CONAIE to Evo Morales regarding TIPNIS controversy

The following letter was translated by Federico Fuentes. The translation first appeared on Bolivia Rising. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. See "Bolivia: Avaaz, NGOs wrong on Morales and Amazon protests; police attack condemned" for more on the highway conflict.

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Quito, September 26, 2011

Evo Morales
President of the Plurinacional State of Bolivia

Dear Brother,

Receive our cordial greetings on behalf of the Confederation of Peoples of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador CONAIE. We would also like to use this opportunity to send via your person a deep hug of solidarity to the brothers and sisters in the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

During these days we have paid witness to all the events that your government has had to confront in regards to the march by the brothers from the indigenous peoples of the Bolivian east in defence of TIPNIS. In the face of this, we would like to make known out deep concern regarding the events that have transpired, especially the events that occurred yesterday afternoon.

Being faithful to the principles of the struggle of the people, we reject the violent repression that the indigenous brothers from the march have suffered at the hands of the Bolivian police.

For a long time, our people have shared and sought to develop our common struggle against neoliberalism, for sovereignty, for the defence of natural resources and against neo-colonial states and governments. These experiences have shaped and strengthen us in order to defeat the neoliberal model. No doubt on the way we have had multiple difficulties or even committed errors. But before anything else we firmly defend the process constructed between the people, the struggle for the DEFENCE OF MOTHER EARTH, together with the majority of the exploited men and women.

We hope that these differences will be resolved through dialogue, with the aim that they not be utilised by our enemies, the national right wing and imperialism, in order for them to once again persecute our peoples, above all our children.

Dear Compañero Evo, knowing your capacity, experience and knowledge we are sure that you will seek all the possible mechanisms in order to resolve this conflict between brothers and continue on the path of Buen Vivir (Living Well)

A fraternal and optimist hug from the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador

Humberto Cholango

Translated from CIDOB website

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Comment by Federico Fuentes

Note the different approach coming from a mass Indigenous organisation which has been on the frontline of the struggle against neoliberalism and for the environment and has had no qualms in confront its own government on these issues compared to that being pushed by foreign NGOs who receive funding from such advocates of the environment and revolutionary change as the Rockfeller Foundation and USAID.

As opposed to those who propose confrontation between Indigenous brothers and sisters, CONAIE proposes dialogue As opposed to those writing off Morales, they are willing to criticise while continuing to respect him as a brother. As opposed to those that say nothing about imperialism (or even conceal its role), CONAIE clearly point out who the real enemy is. As opposed to those who try and impose on Bolivia their opinions as to what they should and shouldnt do, CONAIE leave this in the capable hands of the Bolivian people and Evo.

But then again CONAIE is a real organisation, not an NGO funded from Europe and the US.