In a radio-interview, president of Expoflores, Alejandro Martinez announces that no less than 32 farms have been attacked. Yesterday morning, 'protesters' vandalized the farms and threatened workers - who in several cases were forced to quit working and join the protests. Also, (high)ways were blocked and protesters clashed with police.
Since the announcement of the Ecuadorian president Lenín Moreno to strip away a $1.3 billion fuel subsidy the unrest started (see this article). Since Thursday, major roads are being blocked which among others seriously hamper the flower exports. Last Thursday, no flowers seem to have reached the airport and also of Friday, flights were limited.
Comunidades indígenas en el Sur están realizando recorridos por cada finca, sacando al personal que se encuentra trabajando y poniendo en riesgo su integridad.#ParoNacionalEcuador #NoAlParo @PoliciaEcuador @FFAAECUADOR @DefensaEc @elcomerciocom @ecuavisa @ECU911Ambato pic.twitter.com/IS3tdApIYv— Expoflores (@ExpofloresEc) October 7, 2019
"Indigenous communities in the South are entering each farm, taking out the staff that is working and putting their integrity at risk."
The weekend hasn't calmed down the situation. The damage has increased to millions of dollars - Martinez talks about 20 million dollar. On Twitter, Expoflores asks and urges the police to help and support the growers. Also, the export association asks the community to respect the decisions of the government.
#NoAlParo #NoALaViolencia— Expoflores (@ExpofloresEc) October 7, 2019
Actos de vandalismo, agresiones y destrucción a la propiedad es lo único que ha generado la comunidad indígena con sus manifestaciones, las fincas florícolas generan empleo y promueven un Ecuador próspero. pic.twitter.com/f0XeXgLY40
"Acts of vandalism, aggression and destruction of property is the only thing that has generated the indigenous community with its manifestations, floricultural farms generate employment and promote a prosperous Ecuador."
Still flowers being exported from other parts of the Sierra
The acts of vandalism are primarily affecting farms in areas with high concentrations of indigenous populations. Flower exports overall are affected, however, there are still flowers being exported from other areas in the Sierra. "There are still hundreds of farms that are still delivering flowers and getting their product to the airport. It hasn't been easy, however, there are still thousands of boxes of flowers that are being delivered daily", says Andrew Reitz, President of Damagro farms in Chaquibamba, Ecuador.
Organizaciones indígenas están destruyendo las fincas de flores, nuestros cultivos y obligando a la gente a salir de las fincas. #ParoNacionalEcuador #NoAlParo @FFAAECUADOR @PoliciaEcuador @DefensaEc @Presidencia_Ec @AgriculturaEc @CancilleriaEc @ecuavisa @teleamazonasec pic.twitter.com/MbF3LQXYJR— Expoflores (@ExpofloresEc) October 7, 2019
"Indigenous organizations are destroying flower farms, our crops and forcing people to leave the farms"