Indigenous protesters in Ecuador defy state of emergency

Indigenous protesters in Ecuador defy state of emergency

A demonstrator runs with a neon tube to throw at the police during Indigenous-led protests against the government in Ecuador
A demonstrator runs with a neon tube to throw at the police during Indigenous-led protests against the government in Ecuador. Photo: Cristina Vega RHOR / AFP
Source: AFP

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see YEN.com.gh News on your News Feed!

Indigenous protesters demanding cheaper fuel in Ecuador defied a state of emergency Saturday, pressing on with road blockages now in their sixth day.

A day after President Guillermo Lasso announced the restrictive measures in a bid to end the sometimes violent demonstrations, police said Indigenous people kept up protests in most of the country's 24 provinces, including three where the president declared the state of emergency. One includes the capital, Quito.

Oil producer Ecuador has been hit by rising inflation, unemployment and poverty exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fuel prices have risen sharply since 2020, almost doubling for diesel from $1 to $1.90 per gallon (3.8 liters) and rising from $1.75 to $2.55 for petrol.

Demonstrators from the country's Indigenous community -- which makes up over a million of Ecuador's 17.7 million inhabitants -- launched an open-ended anti-government protest this week that has since been joined by students, workers and others.

Read also

Pre-vote standoff in Senegal after protest violence

The demonstrations have blocked roads across the country, including highways leading into the capital Quito.

PAY ATTENTION: Enjoy reading our stories? Join YEN.com.gh's Telegram channel for more!

Talks with the president failed to end the demonstrations.

Clashes with security forces during the protests have left at least 83 people injured, and 40 have been arrested.

In response, Lasso's decree empowers him to mobilize the armed forces to maintain order, suspend civil rights and declare curfews.

"I am committed to defending our capital and our country," Lasso said on television.

"I called for dialogue and the response was more violence. There is no intention to seek solutions."

The demonstrations have largely been concentrated in the northern region of Pichincha which includes Quito, and neighboring Cotopaxi and Imbabura.

In Quito, nearly 1,000 protesters tried to tear down metal fences that surround the presidential headquarters this week.

In a bid to ease grassroots anger, Lasso announced in his address late Friday a small increase in a monthly subsidy paid to Ecuador's poorest, as well as a program to ease the debt of those who have loans from state-run banks.

PAY ATTENTION: check out news exactly for YOU ➡️ find "Recommended for you" block and enjoy!

Source: AFP

Online view pixel