Lasso extends the state of emergency after eight days of indigenous protests in Ecuador: “They want to throw out the president” | International

Quito awaited the arrival of the massive indigenous marches on Monday night with a strong deployment of soldiers and police in key points of the Ecuadorian capital, such as the presidential palace or the National Assembly. The marches called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities For eight days they have been trying to take over the historic center to protest the national economic shortage and to put pressure on the Ecuadorian government until it alleviates the hardships caused by the rise in food and fuel prices. As a reaction and with the still fresh images of the violent mobilizations of October 2019, which lasted 20 days, President Guillermo Lasso decreed a new state of emergency in the provinces affected by the general strike and road blockades.

A curfew is in force in the Andean city from ten at night until five in the morning to limit freedom of movement and assembly in the street. The restrictions were in force in three provinces of the Ecuadorian Andean zone since last Friday, since the demonstrations were expected to intensify during the weekend. This Monday, with the progress of the marches to the entry points of Quito, the Executive replaced that state of emergency with a new one extended to the six provinces in which the blockade of highways and the forced stoppages of productive activity have generated millionaire losses. , according to government calculations and assertions.

With this maneuver, in addition, the Latin American president avoids a political coup de grace that sought to configure his opposition in the Assembly against him. Legislators from Pachakutik, the political arm of the indigenous organizations, had gathered enough votes with the UNES caucus, related to former President Rafael Correa, to question and deactivate the state of exception and with that, leave the force of the State against protesters. With the formality of replacing last Friday’s decree with a new one this Monday, Lasso bought time and postponed that interpellation against him to another day that does not coincide with the most intense days of protest.

“We have reached out, we have called for dialogue,” the president launched in a video on Twitter. “But they don’t want peace; they seek chaos. They want to throw out the president, I’m here, I’m not going to escape.”

In eight days of marches and clashes, the protesters have staged violent episodes against citizens and carriers who want to cross the tracks. The police, for their part, have repressed the advance of the marches with tear gas and on both sides they report having dozens of wounded. This Monday the death of a 22-year-old man who fell into a ravine on the outskirts of Quito has been confirmed.

Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.


The mobilizations respond to an agenda of 10 points, among which the indigenous organizations claim the Government for not having helped the population with subsidies or aid to counteract the increase in the cost of living that came from the rise in the international price of oil. The shortage of fertilizers, the rise in prices of agricultural and productive raw materials and the cost of transportation have impoverished families with fewer resources in recent months. In addition, the Lasso administration has not been able to solve Ecuador’s structural problems in one year of management, such as corruption and the shortage of medicines in the public health system, or the deterioration of the labor market. Economic suffocation is the trigger that the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie) argued to call a national strike.

“Compañeros and compañeras, we cannot delegitimize our struggles, they cannot be confused with vandalism,” Leonidas Iza, president of Conaie, required this Monday when his arrival in Quito was expected as the culmination of the week of protest. “Let’s not leave an image (of violence) like the one they intend to position; this town is of peace. This people also has dignity and has rebelled to resist.”

After eight days, neither the Ecuadorian president nor the leader of the protesters have found a space for dialogue despite the fact that both political leaders recognize that it is the way to end the protests and improve social conditions in the country. Lasso has agreed to freeze the prices of gasoline for mass use, such as diesel for transportation, to forgive debts of up to 3,000 dollars to public bank debtors and to subsidize half the cost of urea used in agriculture. Iza, who was arrested for interruption of public services and released on the second day of the mobilizations, demands guarantees that all his requests will be fulfilled before sitting down to talk with President Lasso and making a call to relax the atmosphere of tension in Ecuador . The demonstrators, as they advance towards Quito, shout that the Lasso government must fall.

Subscribe here to newsletter of EL PAÍS America and receive all the informative keys of the current situation in the region.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button