Social and Political Impacts of 2019 and 2022 Indigenous Peoples Uprisings in Ecuador

Leonidas Iza, President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), will discuss the goals, consequences, shortcomings, and gains of the indigenous peoples’ uprisings of 2019 and 2022 in Ecuador.

Since the ’80s, CONAIE has been deemed one of the most influential social movements in Latin America. CONAIE influenced the last two Ecuadorian constitutions, and it bolstered regional debates on self-determination, pluri-nationality, rights of nature, and prior consent. However, the last two major collective actions have faced a different reality:

A new polarization in politics and new identities of the offspring of the first national uprisingMr. Iza will discuss these new obstacles and identities and the future of the indigenous movement in Ecuador.

About the Speaker

Segundo Leonidas Iza Salazar, is an Ecuadorian indigenous leader. He is a member of the Kichwa nationality, people Panzaleo. Mr. Iza is the current President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador CONAIE). He studied Environmental Engineering at the Universidad Técnica de Cotopaxi. Mr. Iza started as a community leader as a teenager; before he was elected President of CONAIE, he was President of the Indigenous Movement of Cotopaxi (MICC). He became national and international notoriety after participating in the indigenous uprising of 2019.

He was a crucial part of the negotiation team of CONAIE with the government in a live broadcast conversation. He is a controversial actor in national politics with high support from the CONAIE’s grassroots and the working class. Because of his participation in his movement’s collective actions, Mr. Iza has been prosecuted for several crimes with no conviction. The New York Times included him as one of the “Guardians of the Future” in 2022, a list of indigenous leaders advocating against climate change.


His book “El Estallido” (The Outbreak, 2020) is a detailed chronicle of the 2019 indigenous uprising and a profound reflection on the current identity and future of the indigenous movements of Ecuador.

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