After a week of mass mobilisation, demonstrations, strikes and clashes, on Friday 21st of January tens of thousands of Indians, peasants, workers and students in Ecuador took over one by one the buildings of the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the National Palace and established an alternative government. Faced with these events the world's mass media, which had remained silent for the whole week, started to scream that a military coup had overthrown the government of president Jamil Mahuad. It is therefore necessary to clarify first of all that what has happened in Ecuador in the last week is a revolution.

Since the revolution in January, in which the masses took power for a few hours and were betrayed, Ecuador seems to have returned to normal. The new president Noboa gave the go-ahead to a package of laws which mean the "dollarisation" of the economy, the deregulation of the labour market and massive privatisations. But inevitably, these measures are preparing the way for a new social explosion.

Once again Ecuador started the year with mass demonstrations and strikes. For ten days the whole of the country was paralysed by peasant road blocks, demonstrations and occupations of government buildings. A year after the revolutionary events of January 2000 very little has changed for the masses of workers and poor peasants who fought for a fundamental change in their living conditions.

The final results of the Ecuadorian elections have meant the victory of the left-supported candidate Lucio Gutierrez. As was the case with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Gutierrez has come to power pushed by the most oppressed and exploited sections of society in Ecuador. The new government will, from the very beginning, be subjected to the pressure of the masses and of imperialism and the Ecuadorian ruling class. It is completely impossible to conciliate these two sets of opposite interests and this will necessarily lead to a new heightening of the class struggle.

The brutal repression of the teachers' protest in Ecudaor in December highlights the fact that the period of waiting on the part of the Ecuadorian masses is over. The movement of 2000 brought Lucio Gutierrez to power, but he has merely continued with IMF policies. Now Ecuador is poised for a new movement on a higher level, comparable to that of Bolivia.

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