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  • Ecuador’s Guerrilla Struggle Explored in New Documentary

The film Alfaro Vive Carajo is directed by a former member of the revolutionary guerrilla group of the same name.

The story of the armed struggle which operated in Ecuador between 1983 and 1991 is told in a new documentary premiering in the country’s capital this weekend.

The documentary is part of a festival featuring 121 documentaries from Ecuador and around the world. The Encounters from the Other Cinema (Edoc) festival, in now celebrating its 14th edition with film showings in major cities across Ecuador.

One showing that is generating the most hype is the premiere of Alfaro Vive Carajo, which is directed by a former member of the revolutionary guerrilla group of the same name.  

The film tells the story of the armed struggle, which operated in Ecuador between 1983 and 1991, state repression and the ultimate downfall of the movement through testimonies of ex-combatants, who share stories of the torture and imprisonment they were subjected to, and assassination of fellow members.

"We want to unmask the repression that was hidden, so that this never happens again. So that there is a consciousness that the state, that the government cannot act outside the law, commit assassinations and torture. This is not an act of revenge on our part, the intention is just that this never happens again," said filmmaker Mauricio Samaniego in an interview with teleSUR English.

The film shines a light on the state-sponsored terror employed under former President Leon Febres Cordero, a time in which 68% of all human rights abuses ever registered in Ecuador occurred.

Sharing his story in the documentary is Marco Troya, who as part of the military command of Alfaro Vive Carajo is known for freeing the leader of the movement, Arturo Jarrin, by digging a tunnel into the Garcia Moreno jail to permit his escape.

On his involvement in the documentary, Troya told teleSUR English, "We have lived to tell this story. And many have not lived to tell it. And I also think that among the ex-combatants there is agreement in what we did, what is happening now, and what should continue happening. What I want to say is, the construction of a country is not just a phase, it is not momentary. It is a permanent construction, of responsibility, of commitment. And for me this is what I would like for the message of the documentary to be."

Alfaro Vive Carajo will be shown in theaters across the country following its premiere at the Edoc Festival. With many film showings and workshops led by directors covering a variety of topics, the festival is creating a space for national and foreign documentaries to be enjoyed by the public, and promote the continued growth of this art form in Ecuador.

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