[WSMDiscuss] Please support Ecuadorian progressives contesting extractivist politics (from Quito to NYC) - an Open Letter sign on if you have a moment

Lena Lavinas lenalavinas at gmail.com
Fri Feb 26 10:06:38 CET 2021

Hey Patrick
Isn’t that fantastic that Amar did such a great job to call on the global
left to react against the demonization and defamation of those who
represent the renewal of progressivism?!
Thank you so much for signing
Please disseminate it widely and globally
Big hugs

On Fri, 26 Feb 2021 at 05:58 Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za> wrote:

> (This is a good letter to sign on to, so our close comrades in the U.S.
> left ezines *Jacobin *and *MR Online *get a sense of problems caused,
> when their writers take up a misleading line of argument that denigrates so
> many important activist struggles in the Ecuadorian Andes and Amazon. From
> there, over the past few decades, we've all benefited from inspiring
> community-building, concrete work against extractivism and climate
> catastrophe, indigenous and eco-feminist - and eco-socialist - ideological
> advances, anti-racist politics, and ecological stewardship.
>     For example, their mass protest in Quito on Wednesday - here's
> <https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2021/2/24/in-pictures-ecuadorean-indigenous-protest-elections> *AlJazeera's
> *report with stunning photos - keeps the democratic struggle alive, over
> concerns that votes for the Pachakutik party in the recent presidential
> election were not properly tallied in the majority of districts.
>     Please click here
> <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnmLqU5WOHwE5FKE4ps00TbmtCSCz_MwSAkwQGBrdnXOe23g/viewform?fbzx=-9118106535556794191>
> to add your name, if you agree:
> https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnmLqU5WOHwE5FKE4ps00TbmtCSCz_MwSAkwQGBrdnXOe23g/viewform?fbzx=-9118106535556794191
>     Thanks, muchas gracias!)
> *Open Letter to Editors of Jacobin Magazine and Monthly Review: *
> *Stop Racist and Misogynist Attacks on the Emergent Indigenous,
> Eco-Feminist Left in Latin America, and Address the Crisis in Today's
> Ecuador*
> We, the signatories of this letter, have to come together to demand the
> retraction or clarification of two recent articles that smear political
> movements and leaders in Ecuador. The gains of Yaku Pérez and the coalition
> around the Pachakutik party in the 7 February 2021 elections represent an
> exciting and emergent new left comprised of Indigenous organizations,
> eco-socialist politics, feminist and LGBTQ+ activists, anti-racist
> movements, and anti-extractivist causes. On 24 February 2021, these
> movements came together in the streets of Ecuador, to demand that every
> vote be counted.
> Silencing and discrediting Ecuadoran voices as well as new popular
> movements—while demanding fealty to state capitalist leaders associated
> with the extractivist “left” in Ecuador and across the region—must end. Ben
> Norton’s “How Ecuador’s US-backed, coup-supporting ‘ecosocialist’ candidate
> Yaku Pérez aids the right-wing,” (republished by the Monthly Review on 8
> February 2021) [1] and Denis Rogatyuk’s “Ecuador’s Election Was a Massive
> Repudiation of Neoliberalism” (published in Jacobin Magazine on 18
> February)[2] do not reflect the traditions of Monthly Review—the “longest
> continuously published socialist magazine in the United States.” [3] Both
> articles contradict Jacobin’s founders goal to develop a “product of a
> younger generation not quite as tied to the Cold War paradigms that
> sustained the old leftist intellectual milieu.” [4] The editors’ openness
> to new generations is at odds with the sustained offensive against a new
> Indigenous eco-socialist and feminist political left in Latin America.
> Rogatyuk’s article in Jacobin condemns the eco-socialist candidate Pérez
> and his partner, Manuela Picq, pointing out they “have for years attempted
> to portray Correa as an anti-Indigenous, anti-environment leader that
> pursues an ‘extractivist’ model of development.” Yes, they have, as have
> most independent social scientists who have looked at the wreckage of the
> Correa legacy. [5] There is a vibrant, Indigenous, and youth-led coalition
> of leftists who have critiqued Correa’s misuse of “el buen vivir”
> principles in his policies. These policies nourished new extractive
> industries. Under Correa, the state criminalized Indigenous groups,[6]
> LGBTQ+ populations, and exploited new mining resources and areas such as
> Yasuní.[7]
> Rogatyuk mocks the new left in Ecuador as a “ragbag” and “surreal” group
> who “absurdly” make claims about the partiality of electoral commissions.
> Rogatyuk overlooks the extensive and historic struggles of Indigenous
> identity, genocide and sovereignty, as well as the multiple battles against
> extractivism and ecological devastation, gendered injustices,
> political/social misogyny, [8] and homophobia. The article willfully
> ignores the organizational and social momentum and innovation that fueled
> Pérez’s electoral success. It ignores these movements’ critiques of
> extractivist statism and monolithic personalism. Rogatyuk suggested that
> “Pérez’s political record suggests he is a Trojan horse for the left’s most
> bitter enemies.”
> Similarly, Norton’s Monthly Review article disdainfully dismisses
> environmentalists, whose critiques of extractivism or racist policies of
> the statist left he portrayed as “opening up space for the right.” The
> author singles out “Extinction Rebellion” as a right-wing tool. He rages
> against the language of “decoloniality” and the eco-socialist left’s
> critique of statist leaders’ complicity with whiteness and
> colonial-economic and social legacies. In a typically authoritarian thrust,
> the article demonizes anyone who allies themselves with NGOs, branding them
> as supporters of imperialism.
> Norton’s widely circulated Monthly Review article aimed at fracturing the
> left and eroding social movement support for Pérez as an alternative. The
> piece was published at a crucial moment in the Ecuadorian presidential
> election. Conventional media outlets have used it to discredit and damage a
> candidate of the eco-socialist/Indigenous/feminist left. Norton’s article
> wove together a series of Pérez’s tweets critiquing the statist and
> extractivist left. Of course, many members of the progressive left,
> including some of us writing this letter, disagreed with these
> proclamations as well as Pérez’s support of neoliberal candidates as a
> strategy to defeat authoritarian elements. But we contextualize these
> positions.
> The Monthly Review article spotlights Manuela Picq, Pérez’s partner, in a
> misogynist and homophobic diatribe that mocks and attacks her feminist,
> queer studies, and eco-social politics. Generating absurd conspiracy
> narratives, this article designates her body as evidence of Pérez’s
> imperialist complicity. It stinks of rumor-mongering, noting that she took
> classes at Princeton in a building named after Ronald Reagan, as if this
> would prove that she was a stooge of the Reagan administration. At age 25,
> Picq was part of a civil society dialogue in the FTAA negotiation process
> where she organized critics of the FTAA. Instead of mentioning this history
> of radical praxis, she is accused of being a “CIA cutout” and an agent of
> “billionaire George Soros,” a familiar anti-Semitic accusation. She is also
> incriminated for teaching classes in queer studies and feminist theory. The
> author claims that because Picq teaches “Latinx Studies” and “Queering
> Notions of Modernity,” she is an enemy of global class struggle and
> complicit with imperialism. Norton does not acknowledge the long list of
> Picq’s other publications on queer theory, international relations, social
> movement struggles, or resistance to authoritarianism. Most tellingly, the
> author does not mention that Picq was arrested and deported from Ecuador by
> the Correa government for having participated in united Indigenous,
> feminist, and anti-extractivist protests.[9]
> These two articles do not explore in detail the context of Pérez’s
> political momentum in the organization and revitalization of CONAIE—the
> Indigenous confederation that led the largest set of protests in Ecuadorian
> history in October 2019, uniting Indigenous groups, feminists, students,
> and workers movements to fight back against the imposition of a wrenching
> IMF accord and to demand the end to ecocidal plunder and land
> dispossession. This moment consolidated the leadership of a younger
> generation. CONAIE’s legacy, of uniting movements in October 2019, lent
> popular and movement support to Pérez’s candidacy and might bring him
> perhaps to second place in the polling. The article does not mention the
> historic October 2019 uprising or CONAIE and Pérez’s roles in it.
> We are concerned that a significant number of today’s left-wing actors,
> across the Americas and the world, align themselves with extractivism,
> agrobusiness, authoritarian statism, [10] and stand against Indigenous,
> anti-racist, and anti-patriarchal movements, ideas, and leaders. We worry
> that the former is acting to eject the latter from the conversation by
> labeling them as right-wingers and allies of imperialism. We should not be
> distracted from the wave of violent, ultra-racist “populism,” and military
> and parliamentary coups that have swept the region in the past years. It is
> exactly these authoritarian developments that make it irresponsible and
> dangerous to brand those who critique the extractivist left as allies of
> Yankee imperialists or sympathetic to Bolsonaro-type populists who are
> encouraging genocide, femicide, racial exterminations, and homophobic
> assassinations.
> We stand against authoritarian statism focusing on individual male
> populist figures and armed, militarized “machocratic” patriarchy. Against
> this model, a new progressive alternative for the left has been
> emerging—led by Indigenous, Black, and feminist as well as class and
> worker-identified justice movements—to advocate redistribution of wealth,
> land, and autonomies to forge new modes of collective, bodily, and
> eco-social participation and rights.
> After Ecuador’s 7 February 2021 election, civil society groups across
> Ecuador raised concerns that an effort was underway to “find votes” needed
> to bring Lasso’s totals above Pérez’s. This would serve both sides of what
> Chilean writer Andrés Kogan Valderrama has labeled the “binary” political
> equation [11] of extractivist left and neoliberal right. Both sides saw
> Pérez as the most threatening opponent, for he might win and, more than
> that, dismantle the binary political equation that has been making true
> redistribution and eco-social justice unimaginable.
> The Ecosocialist Feminist Network stated, “We reject the role that
> ‘Correismo’ [Rafael Correa’s regime] has played in this moment,
> exacerbating racism and delegitimizing social struggle through media
> campaigns…We know that the struggle continues and what will be the
> mobilization and unity of the popular field will permit us to sustain the
> gains accumulated in October [2019] and resistance against this system of
> death.” [12]
> We deplore the demonization of both Pérez and movements that brought him
> so close to the run-off election. A left-wing global community deserves
> better, and we call on the editors of Monthly Review and Jacobin to reject
> these simplistic and dangerous analyses which feed right wing structures of
> hate in Latin America.
> Signed:
> Paul Amar, Professor, Director of Orfalea Center, University of
> California, Santa Barbara
> Sonia Correa, Co-Chair, Sexuality Policy Watch
> Ghaitai Paul Males Castañeda, Comunidad Indígena de Compañía, Líder
> Espiritual Cristiano-Andino de Jóvenes
> Macarena Gómez-Barris, Professor, Pratt Institute
> Mara Viveros Vigoya, Profesora Titular, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
> LASA President (2019-2020)
> Lisa Duggan, Professor, New York University
> Cristina Yépez Arroyo, McGill University
> J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Professor, Wesleyan University
> William C. Smith, Professor Emeritus, University of Miami
> Rita Laura Segato, Professor, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina
> Pamela Martin, Professor, Coastal Carolina University
> Mario Pecheny, Professor, University of Buenos Aires
> Cruz Caridad Bueno, Assistant Professor of Black Studies, SUNY-New Paltz
> Javiera Barandiaran, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa
> Barbara
> Michelle Artieda, Florida International University
> Mieke Verloo, Professor, Radboud University, The Netherlands
> Lena Lavinas, Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
> Sherene R Seikaly, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa
> Barbara
> Gita Sen, DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era), Fiji
> Gloria Careaga, Facultad de Psicología, UNAM, Mexico
> Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Hunter College &The
> Graduate Center, CUNY
> Rina Pakari Marcillo, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
> Steve Stein, Senior Professor, University of Miami
> Markus Thiel, Associate Professor, Florida International University
> Dominique Chiriboga, Activista Feminista y LGBT, Ecuador
> Flavio Carrera V., Project Coordinator, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
> Daniela Cabascango, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales
> (FLACSO), Ecuador
> Kiran Asher, UMass, Amherst
> Carolina Benalcázar, Concordia University
> Fernando Luz Brancoli, Associate Professor, Federal University of Rio de
> Janeiro
> Diana Coryat, Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Ecuador
> Bila Sorj, Professor, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
> Pablo Ospina Peralta, Docente de la Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar,
> Quito, Ecuador
> Antonia Carcelen-Estrada, Profesora investigadora, Universidad San
> Francisco de Quito/Northumbria University
> Jennyfer Masaquiza, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
> Claudia Sofía Garriga-López, California State University, Chico
> David Paternotte, Université Libre de Bruxelles
> Carlos de la Torre, Director, Center for Latin American Studies,
> University of Florida
> Miriam Lang, Professor, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Ecuador
> Carmen Diana Deere, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of
> Florida; LASA President (1992-1994)
> Arturo Escobar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
> Guilherme Leite Gonçalves, Professor, Rio de Janeiro State University
> Johannes Waldmüller, Research Professor, Universidad de Las Américas, EPN
> Sylvia Cifuentes, University of California, Santa Barbara
> Larry Lohmann, The Corner House (Environmental and Social Justice), UK
> Gareth Dale, Brunel University, UK
> Patrick Bond, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
> Notes
> [1]
> https://mronline.org/2021/02/10/how-ecuadors-u-s-backed-coup-supporting-ecosocialist-candidate-yaku-perez-aids-the-right-wing/
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://mronline.org/2021/02/10/how-ecuadors-u-s-backed-coup-supporting-ecosocialist-candidate-yaku-perez-aids-the-right-wing/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNH6DSLbbnioE2TajcNcPkRKg783FQ>
> [2]
> https://jacobinmag.com/2021/02/ecuador-election-arauz-hervas-perez-neoliberalism
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://jacobinmag.com/2021/02/ecuador-election-arauz-hervas-perez-neoliberalism&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNFATFqPvmTD8G-MpaSfaihES-4Ciw>
> [3]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monthly_Review#:~:text=The%20Monthly%20Review%2C%20established%20in,magazine%20in%20the%20United%20States
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monthly_Review%23:~:text%3DThe%2520Monthly%2520Review%252C%2520established%2520in,magazine%2520in%2520the%2520United%2520States&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNH5vNizEqnQR5yBg5peEM9SG5Nl4A>
> .
> [4] https://web.archive.org/web/20190711101435/
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://web.archive.org/web/20190711101435/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNHyI-hUSJ_cJWNFuftzznKs39YbSg>
> http://idiommag.com/2011/03/no-short-cuts-interview-with-the-jacobin/
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=http://idiommag.com/2011/03/no-short-cuts-interview-with-the-jacobin/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNGs-u1-QLXbues5YjlXPtSrW3m9Tg>
> [5]There is extensive literature that examines how the period of Rafael
> Correa's government as a time of impunity and human rights violations. See:
> https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-8675.12117
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-8675.12117&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNGPnGGU8S0OLSO1Ivdi4tMQfK-qBA>
> [6] In 2017, CONAIE fought to get amnesty for all activists of the
> indigenous movement who had been prosecuted and sentenced for protesting
> Correa’s government and Chinese mining companies, and defending water
> resources. The government misused anti-terrorism laws dating from the 1970s
> military dictatorship to incarcerate indigenous leaders protesting
> extractivism. At that time, 98 individuals faced criminal prosecutions for
> resistance to authority, terrorism, sabotage, etc. See:
> https://www.planv.com.ec/historias/politica/conaie-la-lucha-la-amnistia
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.planv.com.ec/historias/politica/conaie-la-lucha-la-amnistia&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNGH9FzyaNixXps6Cs4JrL8MgzP3ew>
> and https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-22656374
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-22656374&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNHi01lc6HNqxwiFlQFqeB-c-gnlDQ>
> [7] See:
> https://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2013/oct/15/ecuador-president-misleading-yasuni
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2013/oct/15/ecuador-president-misleading-yasuni&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586706000&usg=AFQjCNHQz1eOO-S4MVqRK9MQrxr7xVDNqQ>
> [8] Correa’s sabatinas, weekly speeches televised in different locations
> around the country on Saturdays, were spaces which could last up to three
> hours. There he presented his visions and proposals, and attacked citizens,
> journalists, human rights activists, academics, and environmentalists. The
> Media Observatory of Ecuador (OME) has counted 95 grievances against women
> and for sexist language in the 152 Correa’s weekly speeches between 2013
> and 2016.
> See:
> https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/05/23/planeta_futuro/1495560980_079621.html
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/05/23/planeta_futuro/1495560980_079621.html&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNGY4tqopUGkPYiVQY6WsLi8X_mWcw>
> On Saturday December 28, 2013, one of the last during Correa’s first
> administration, the former president criticized "gender ideology." On the
> same occasion, Correa affirmed “defending the traditional family” and
> declared opposition to abortion "has nothing to do with the left or the
> right," but are simple “moral issues.” See full video here:
> https://youtu.be/ODXFdqtGsyo?t=6341
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://youtu.be/ODXFdqtGsyo?t%3D6341&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNGts6kNZWonKqefH8DuK6vQ7Cs7vA>
> [9] See:
> https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-manuela-picq
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-manuela-picq&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNHOHQ7nBgmPkOD2009IlNF21_R-uw>
> [10] In 2013, Rafael Correa issued Executive Decree No. 16 to control NGOs
> and establish limitations on the independent and autonomous functioning of
> unions and social organizations. The decree was harshly criticized by local
> and international organizations.
> https://sobrevivientes.planv.com.ec/decreto-16-y-las-amenazas-a-las-ong/
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://sobrevivientes.planv.com.ec/decreto-16-y-las-amenazas-a-las-ong/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNGAdJkmotUu_c_Moe1_IylpaYJhQA>
> Correa arbitrarily punished journalists who did not agree with him and
> actively attacked indigenous environmental activists who opposed oil and
> gas extraction or open-pit mining on their lands.
> https://rsf.org/en/news/what-future-free-speech-ecuador-after-presidential-election
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://rsf.org/en/news/what-future-free-speech-ecuador-after-presidential-election&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNG8ImNkwCk0rXvwRJBrdPGFpFTqEA>
> https://amazonwatch.org/news/2018/0418-new-report-shines-light-on-dark-days-for-amazon-earth-defenders-in-ecuador
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://amazonwatch.org/news/2018/0418-new-report-shines-light-on-dark-days-for-amazon-earth-defenders-in-ecuador&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNHj_akYz_M9_A1A8n2Fa_NMGvWUYQ>
> [11]
> https://oplas.org/sitio/2021/02/14/andres-kogan-valderrama-yaku-perez-y-el-fin-de-los-binarismos/
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oplas.org/sitio/2021/02/14/andres-kogan-valderrama-yaku-perez-y-el-fin-de-los-binarismos/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNHNmSheRwkDSAfxJaSL96SxkiPe7A>
> [12] https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7033
> <https://www.google.com/url?q=https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7033&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614312586707000&usg=AFQjCNHSu_nLbOaXY48wKdh6lRjTI8xbIA>
Lena Lavinas
Professor of Welfare Economics at the Institute of Economics at the Federal
University of Rio de Janeiro.

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“The Collateralization of Social Policy by Financial Markets in the Global
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by P. Mader, D. Mertens and N. Van der Zwan, London: Routledge, 2020.

*The Takeover of Social Policy by Financialization. The Brazilian paradox, *New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, April 2017.
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