The indigenous march led by Yaku Pérez, who took third place in the first round of the Ecuadorian presidential election, reached Quito on Tuesday (23). They left the south of the country and traveled 700 km.
Pérez, who entered the capital by bicycle, said the demonstration will be peaceful and that he will demand a recount of the votes, because, for him, there was fraud in the count.
The plan of Pachakutik, his party, is to camp in Arbolito, a square north of Quito that was the epicenter of the 2019 protests, and to commit an act of repudiation on Wednesday (24) in front of the headquarters of the National Electoral Council ( CNE).
On Sunday (21), the organization announced that Pérez had been beaten in the first round by Guillermo Lasso, defining the second round between the center-right candidate and leftist Andrés Arauz. The CNE’s decision did not respond to Pachakutik’s request for a recount.
Pérez arrived in Arbolito under the shout of “Yaku, president” and said that the alleged fraud “silences the voices of 2 million Ecuadorians, and it is for them that we have come here”. The native chief also says that Lasso bought the 800,000 votes that allowed him to overtake Pérez.
The party claims to have evidence – photos of irregular voting records – which will be presented this Wednesday morning to the CNE.
According to local media, it is a caravan of hundreds of natives, with more people expected from other parts of the country throughout the night. Pérez said 5,000 natives from other areas were arriving.
The Quito group was expecting some leaders from Conaie (Confederation of Nationalities and Indigenous Peoples of the Coast), the main union of indigenous unions, which led the 2019 protests against the increase in fuel.
Leader Javier Aguavil said that the demonstration “is not only that of the natives” and that the call for transparent elections must be adopted by the whole of society.
“We invite all Ecuadorians who wish to participate in the defense of democracy. It is a civic duty to join us in this complaint.”
In an interview with foreign media on Monday (22), Guillermo Lasso said Pérez’s allegations can no longer be considered legal “because they exceed the time limit for appeal”.
After the 100% count was completed, figures showed that Arauz, a candidate sponsored by ex-President Rafael Correa, had 32.7% of the vote. Lasso, center-right, secured second place receiving 19.74%.
Third, and therefore out of the race, was left-wing indigenous leader Yaku Pérez, with 19.38%.