Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Ecuador protests: Indigenous groups block highways as protests continue

Monday, 07 October 2019 14:37 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

Indigenous groups in Ecuador have taken the lead in protests against the end of fuel subsidies, blocking roads and highways in the country.

About 50 police officers have been taken hostage in various locations.

President Lenin Moreno says he will not bring back subsidies and has declared a two-month national emergency.

The protests were originally led by transport unions who have since stopped their action. Other sectors are calling for a national strike on Wednesday.

Ecuadorians say abolishing fuel subsidies has also led to rising prices for consumer goods. About 20 people have been arrested for raising food prices, the government said.

Data on almost every Ecuadorean citizen leaked
Ecuador's parliament rejects easing law in rape cases
Ecuador 'allows US military to use Galapagos island airfield'
They had been overcharging for products such as corn, onions, carrots and potatoes, which are subject to price controls, the authorities said.

"There is no justification for raising the prices," Interior Minister Maria Romo said.

One man died in the Andean province of Azuay in the south of the country, the government said. Reports said roadblocks in the area had stopped an ambulance from reaching him after he was hit by a car.

How significant is the indigenous groups' action?
Some of the road blockages have affected petrol deliveries, leading to fuel shortages in parts of the country.

They have affected routes including the main north-south highway in the country.

In some places, protesters threw stones and rocks, clashing with security forces who fired tear gas.

An umbrella group for indigenous groups in the country, the Confederation of Indigenous Nations in Ecuador (Conaie) said it was declaring a "state of exception" in indigenous areas, where soldiers and police officers would be detained and would face "indigenous justice".

Luis Iguamba, leader of the Kayambi people from northern Ecuador, said they would keep up the pressure on the government.

"We are fighting for everyone and we are fighting to foresee the rights we all have and we can't allow this. So, everyone, be on the lookout and keep up the fight. Let's radicalise the strike," he said.

Schools are to remain closed in Andean areas of the country because of the protests, EFE news agency quoted the education minister as saying.

The BBC's Americas Editor Candace Piette says indigenous-led protests have toppled three presidents in the last few decades.

Their intervention follows protests on Thursday and Friday that saw roads in the capital Quito and the city of Guayaquil strewn with makeshift barricades and burning tyres.

Hundreds of people were arrested, dozens of police officers hurt, several police cars destroyed and a local government building was attacked, the authorities said.

Why did the president scrap the subsidies?
Mr Moreno said the fuel subsidies, which cost the government $1.3bn (£1bn) annually, were no longer affordable.

The elimination of the fuel subsidies, introduced in the 1970s, are part of Mr Moreno's plan to shore up Ecuador's flagging economy and ease its debt burden.

Ecuador's government has agreed to cut public spending as part of a loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The agreement, signed in March, allows Ecuador to borrow $4.2bn (£3.4bn).

On Tuesday, Ecuador announced it was leaving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to pump more oil and raise revenues.

Read 39 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Login to post comments
GM scraps historic Holden car
General Motors has said it will retire the iconic
Brexit: France warns UK of
France has warned Britain to expect a bruising battle with
Storm Dennis: Flood threat
Towns near the River Severn are now the government's
German far-right group
Members of a far-right group arrested in Germany were
Jeremy Corbyn attack on Boris
Jeremy Corbyn has launched a personal attack on Boris
Coronavirus: 12 patients
Twelve patients treated by two British GPs who have been
Russian former prison
A former Russian prison service official has killed himself
Sharp rise in brain injuries
The number of US troops suffering from traumatic brain

Features


cache/resized/42ad9aebc0ade9bb1e09d84bdbde68f2.jpg
A man has been
cache/resized/f581ce10554be9d86c5e1bdbb21518bf.jpg
Researchers say
cache/resized/0a665575691932a2d0ffe8e0f3d1a88f.jpg
A law introducing
cache/resized/bdf1c5362e4a36745bbd1d9da16809f1.jpg
US scientists are
cache/resized/d8402c0a2a72bd474b938d6ac8d61dc4.jpg
The Yazidi

Hot News

Featured photos and videos

cache/resized/d03dbd9f9a71ed01d7f92e3a5d24546a.jpg
General Motors has said it will retire the iconic
cache/resized/a96309804dafe6172b4ccd261b6191c4.jpg
A warplane belonging to the Saudi-led coalition
cache/resized/75517923d71c6635f1eefcde45e954a9.jpg
Towns near the River Severn are now the
cache/resized/5f9484d582847bf79ab79369998ba966.jpg
Members of a far-right group arrested in Germany
cache/resized/143270643e20d1a064541de89c8ce7bc.jpg
"These days if someone gets stabbed no-one really
cache/resized/1512fadaac1a3676b51e7aebad0ee1cb.jpg
Twelve patients treated by two British GPs who
cache/resized/50a1e61b7ee57ff9d8a27e86889935af.jpg
A former Russian prison service official has
cache/resized/7aa9d207ae38567d70cfdee8234f8342.jpg
As the dust settles following Sunday's Oscars
Template Settings

Color

For each color, the params below will give default values
Black Blue Brow Green Cyan

Body

Background Color
Text Color
Layout Style
Select menu
Google Font
Body Font-size
Body Font-family