Ecuadorian leader Yaku Perez Guartambel denounces the "capitalist ecocide" and calls for "breaking those paradigms and turning our eyes to indigenous peoples." The struggles are cultural and institutional, which is why, while he denounces formal democracy, he calls for a dialogue with "real democracy that comes from a millenary Andean philosophy with greater roots and legitimacy". Mechanisms such as prior consultation, local democracies, and assemblies would be fundamental in opposing extractivism. For Yaku, "the Western world has an anthropocentric, phallocentric vision... everything revolves around man" and therefore returning to the roots strengthens, not only another relationship with nature, but also, and as part of it, between men and women. Yaku is General Coordinator of the Andean Coordination of Indigenous Organizations (CAOI), he was president of the Confederation of Peoples of the Kichwa Nationality of Ecuador (Ecuarunari) and since 2019 Prefect of Azuay, in the South of Ecuador, representing the Pachakuti party.
This interview conducted by Gonzalo Berrón, Transnational Institute, in Spanish, is part of the global discussion process towards the People's Sovereignty Network. It was held on August 27, 2019.
Photo credits: https://twitter.com/ecuachaskiecua/media?lang=en