Letter to Ecuadorian President Noboa Re: Impact of IMF and WB structural adjustment programs - Feburary 7, 2001

7 February 2001

President Gustavo NoboaPalacio de Gobierno
García Moreno 1043

Dear President Noboa:

We write to you as representatives of civil-society organizations concernedabout the impact of IMF- and World Bank-imposed structural adjustment programs around the world. We are alarmed by reports of violent suppression by your government of the legitimate public protests against the most recently implemented adjustment program in Ecuador. We urge you to cease this repression and to launch a national dialogue to find lasting solutions to the pressing economic and social problems confronting your country.

We understand that over the past 20 years, the IMF and World Bank have made the implementation of adjustment programs a condition of financial support to the government of Ecuador. Our colleagues in Ecuador inform us that these programs and the specific economic policies they embrace have placed the major burden of adjustment on the nation's poor and working people, its small farmers and businesses. The IMF's and the World Bank's insistence on the application of a new round of economic measures has put dignified living conditions even further beyond the reach of large segments of the Ecuadoran population. Many of us are also in contact with representatives of those international institutions regarding their role in this crisis.

We have also been informed that attempts at peaceful dialogue on this issue, including the SAPRI process in which the Bank, your government and civil society have been engaged, have not led to any meaningful change in the policy positions of the government or the international financial institutions. This is particularly troubling given the findings emanating from SAPRI that document the negative effects of many adjustment measures. It is therefore understandable that, when the IMF-supported economic measures were announced in December, affected citizens and civil-society groups would organize themselves to find and use other means to express their dissent regarding the continuation of these policies. What is not acceptable, by any international norm, is that these peaceful protests have now been met with state violence and repression in order to fend off public opposition to these policies. It has been reported that several indigenous people have been killed and some seriously wounded by public security forces, while others have begun a hunger strike to demand a repeal of the recent economic adjustment measures.

The way forward to resolving the economic problems in Ecuador, or in any other country, will be found neither through military force and the restriction of rights nor through the imposition of adjustment measures that lead to further social exclusion. We urge you to immediately cease the violent repression of public protest against the adjustment policies and to seek real and lasting solutions through an expanded national dialogue involving a broad range of social actors representative of the diversity of Ecuadoran society in order to create a just and inclusive economic program.


Francoise Vanni
Agir ici pour un monde solidaire, France
Maudelle Shirek
Act Up/East Bay, Oakland, CA, USA
BankBusters, USA

Leigh Hauter
Bull Run Mountain Farm, USA
Darren Steinhoff
Prairie Region

Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Barbara Larcom)
Casa Baltimore-Limay, USA

Neil Watkins
Center for Economic Justice, USA

Anke Wessels
Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy

Chuck Kleymeyer
Center for the Support of Native Lands, USA

Cherrene Horazuk

John McLeod
Committee for Peace and Human Rights, Boston, USA

Mary Wildfire
Concerned Citizens Coalition of Roane Calhoun and Gilmer Counties, USA

Phil Wheaton
Conversion for Reclaiming Earth in the Americas, USA

Stephen Hellinger
The Development GAP, USA

Rob Weissman
Essential Action, USA

Soren Ambrose
50 Years Is Enough, USA

Greg Cantrell
Force of Flight, USA

Nick Laskowski
Georgetown Solidarity Committee, USA

Todd N. Tucker
George Washington University Action Coalition

Juliette Beck
Global Exchange, USA

Sara Grusky
Globalization Challenge Initiative, USA

Melinda Miles
Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center, USA

Pamela Foster
Halifax Initiative Coalition, Canada

John Iversen
HIV Services Planning Council, Oakland, CA, USA

R H Dudder
Portland General Membership Branch
The Industrial Workers of the World, USA
ter and Gail Mott

Anne D. Shirk
International Voluntary Services, USA

Annemary Vogelweid
Loretto Latin America/Caribbean Committee

Jonathan Rosen
National Lawyers Guild, NYU School of Law Chapter, USA

Rev. Douglas B. Hunt
Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility
of the United Church of Christ, USA

Katherine Hoyt
Nicaragua Network, USA

Norma J F Harrison
Peace & Freedom Party Central Committee, USA

Wil Van Natta
Reality News Network.... "What the corporate owned press won't tell you",

Francesco Martone
Reform the WB Campaign, Italy

Rev. Karen M. Shepler
Refugio del Rio Grande, USA

Allison Dinsmore
RESULTS Philadelphia, USA

Grahame Russell
Rights Action / Derechos en Accion, Canada, Guatemala, USA

Jean G. Colvin
The Share Fund, USA

Jonathan Welch
Socios En Salud Sucursal Peru

Hannah Frisch

Marion Traub-Werner
STITCH-- Organizadoras por la justicia laboral, Guatemala

Dennis Markatos
SURGE - Students United for a Responsible Global Environment, USA

Cecilia R. Vinas
Peacemaking Committee
Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, Pennsylvania, USA

Stephen Coats
U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project, USA

Steven Bennet
Witness for Peace, USA

Valerie Mullen
Barbara Grant
Central Vermont Branch
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, USA

Peggy Sower Knoepfle
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Mary Wood branch
Springfield, Illinois, USA

Sarah Zimmerman
Working Partnerships, USA