Police have enforced new curfews after violent clashes involving stones and tear gas promoted President Lenin Moreno’s government out of the capital city of Quito. Another major demonstration took place today. This saw masked and stick-wielding protesters throw stones and battle tear gas with police.
Up to 750 people have already been arrested throughout the week.
Juan Sebastián Roldán, the president’s private secretary, said there have been additional attacks on members of the public and private property.
He said on Twitter: “What we’re going through is not a peaceful mobilisation, it’s delinquency and vandalism.”
Anti-government protests have seen restrictions put in place from 8pm to 5am each night, with additional patrols in targeted areas such as government buildings, airports and oil refineries.
Ecuador has imposed a curfew following a series of violent clashes
Police have enforced new curfews after violent clashes involving stones and tear gas
One of the groups accused Mr Moreno’s government of failing to improve the welfare of the South American country’s “most vulnerable” people.
They made similar complaints about his predecessor, Rafael Correa.
Protesters said in a joint statement: “We have shown throughout Ecuador’s history that indigenous peoples have the power to shut down the country when our rights are put at risk and power is abused.”
They added in a later statement: “Troops and police who approach indigenous territories will be detained and subjected to indigenous justice.”
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One of the groups accused Mr Moreno’s government of failing to improve the welfare
Demonstrations began when Mr Moreno abruptly ended fuel subsidies, sparking a hike in costs.
This has caused the country, of which up to 17million people live, suffering paralysed public transport and blocked roads.
Experts predict up to 165,000 barrels of oil could be lost each day if the unrest continues.
Up to two water treatments plants in Ambato, south of the capital, have also been occupied.
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This has sparked concerns from residents
This has sparked concerns from residents.
A national state of emergency was declared last week before the government temporarily moved out of the capital.
The UK Home office has advised against travelling to Ecuador.
Their travel advice reads: “Protests across Ecuador since October 3 (have) caused nationwide disruption, with demonstrations and road blockages in many provinces.”
President Lenin Moreno
Demonstrations are particularly threatening for Ecuador as violent clashes played a major role in the 2005 resignation of Ecuador’s president at the time, Lucio Gutiérrez.
He declared a similar state of emergency following a growing political crisis after he revoked the newly appointed Supreme Court of Justice.
This was controversial in that it provoked conflicting reactions and was seen by analysts as a dictatorial act.
The state of emergency was lifted on April 16 2005 after 24 hours as it was widely ignored.
Three days later, the Congress of Ecuador on the grounds that Mr Gutiérrez had abandoned his constitutional duties, voted 60-2 to remove him from office.
They appointed Vice President Alfedo Palacio González to serve as President.
At the same time, the Ecuadorian Joint Armed Forces Command announced they would withdraw their support for Mr Gutiérrez.
He then had no option but to depart the Presidential Palace on a helicopter.
He sought political asylum in Brazil.