Ecuador president declares 'curfew' and 'militarization' in Quito

Reuters  Ivan Alvarado

The decision came after protests over the government's decision to scrap decades-old fuel subsidies as part of a reform package nearly 10 days ago. The disturbances have spread from transport w.

On Friday, after Moreno proposed direct talks with protest organizers for the first time, police fired tear gas at a crowd of protesters who had gathered peacefully at the National Assembly, according to Reuters witnesses. Hundreds more indigenous protesters poured int.

The executive buildings taken over by the protesters have been empty, as Moreno had already moved the federal government to the town of Guayaquil, positioned 250 kilometers south-west of Quito. Moreno said only that he would assess the effects of the cut in subsidies.

(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara). Anti-government demonstrators clash with police in Quito, Ecuador, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

The protests were triggered when fuel subsidies were eliminated as part of a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.2 billion loan.

He also said the government will review plans to reduce some salaries and vacation time for state workers, and would offer compensation to people from rural areas who had lost earnings because of the protests. "We're ready to support an efficient and inclusive process to generate lasting solutions for development and peace in the country", the U.N.'s branch in Ecuador said on Twitter. "The process is moving forward and I hope to give you good news soon, because different organizations and sectors have confirmed their willingness to talk".

After one other day of unrest in Ecuador's capital Quito, which noticed protesters blocking roads and breaking into authorities buildings, President Lenin Moreno agreed to rethink the controversial cancellation of gasoline subsidies.

Protesters did not immediately heed the curfew that went into effect at 3:00 pm (2000 GMT), with security forces still struggling to impose order in some parts of the city as night fell. Conaie has led protests against the law but has rejected vandalism that swept Quito on Saturday.

An indigenous leader and four other people have died, according to the public defender's office. Some had black face paint and hand-carved wooden spears that poked above the indigenous demonstrators who've taken over the sprawling state-run complex known as the Casa de la Cultura.

Across the capital, groups of hooded young men used rocks and burning tires to block streets in residential neighbourhoods.

Ecuador, a former OPEC member, was left deeply in debt by a decade of high-spending governance and the oil price drop.

Mr Moreno appeared on national television alongside his vice president and defence minister to announce that he was ordering people indoors and the army on to the streets.

The government announced the elimination of fuel subsidies on October 1, as part of an austerity package created to reduce the public deficit in keeping with a 4.2-billion-U.S. -dollar loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.



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