Saturday, Apr 01, 2023

Indigenous protester dies in Ecuador as violence increases

Indigenous protester dies in Ecuador as violence increases

On Tuesday, an estimated 10,000 Indigenous people took to the streets of Quito.

An Indigenous protester has died in Ecuador as violence increased amid days of anti-government protests that the country’s military has labelled as a “grave threat” to democracy.

On Tuesday, an estimated 10,000 Indigenous people took to the streets in the capital Quito, continuing demonstrations that began on June 13 over fuel prices, unemployment and President Guillermo Lasso’s conservative government.

Protesters carried sticks, fireworks and shields made out of road signs and were met with crackdowns by security forces, particularly in the north of the capital where officers, including some on motorcycles and horseback, attempted to disperse the crowds using anti-riot vehicles equipped with tear gas and water cannon.

Several hours south, in the Amazon town of Puyo, a member of the Quichua Indigenous group died during a confrontation with law enforcement while participating in a roadblock.

Lina Maria Espinosa, a lawyer with the Alliance for Human Rights organisation, told AFP news agency the man was “hit in the face, apparently with a tear gas bomb”.

Police, however, said: “It was presumed that the person died as a result of handling an explosive device.”

This follows the death last week of a young man who police say fell into a ravine in a town on the outskirts of Quito during a protest. The country’s prosecutor’s office has opened a homicide investigation into the incident.

‘Serious escalations of conflict’

Amid the violence, President Lasso on Tuesday agreed to participate “for the good of the country” in a “frank and respectful dialogue process” with the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), which called for the protests – that were joined by students, workers and other Ecuadorians feeling the economic pinch.

However, CONAIE leader Leonidas Iza, who was released last week after being detained during the demonstrations, said any talks would be conditioned on a repeal of the state of emergency that has been called in several of Ecuador’s 24 provinces, which allows the right to assembly to be suspended and the military to mobilise against protesters.

In a statement broadcast on social media, the Indigenous leader said the government’s response to the protests “has only managed to exacerbate the spirit of the population and generate serious escalations of conflict”.

That came after defence minister Luis Lara said on Tuesday that Ecuador’s democracy “faces a grave threat from … people who are preventing the free movement of the majority of Ecuadorians” with widespread blockades.

Flanked by the heads of the army, navy and air force, Lara warned that the military “will not allow attempts to break the constitutional order or any action against democracy and the laws of the republic”.

Ecuador’s Alliance for Human Rights has reported that at least 90 people have been injured and 87 detained since the start of the protests.

The police have reported that 101 uniformed personnel, including soldiers, were injured, another 27 officers held by protesters, and 80 protesters arrested.

Indigenous people make up about one million of Ecuador’s 17.7 million inhabitants and are disproportionately affected by rising inflation, unemployment and poverty that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fuel prices have risen sharply since 2020, nearly doubling for diesel from $1 to $1.90 a gallon (about 3.8 litres) and rising from $1.75 to $2.55 for gasoline. CONAIE is demanding a price cut to $1.50 a gallon for diesel and $2.10 for gasoline.

The alliance is credited with helping topple three presidents between 1997 and 2005.

In 2019, CONAIE-led protests forced then-president Lenin Moreno to abandon plans to eliminate fuel subsidies. Eleven people died and more than 1,000 were injured in the unrest.


Related Articles

The G-7 aims to make global crypto regulations tougher
Russia arrested an American reporter for the Wall Street Journal on espionage charges
Don’t Dismiss China’s Peacemaking Bid
China and Brazil have signed a new deal that will allow them to trade in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar as an intermediary
Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’
Nashville style execution
“We've had evidence prior to the pandemic that masks were largely ineffective at preventing community transmission of influenza “
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rejects being labeled a "billionaire"
Jamie Dimon is being deposed over JPMorgan Chase role in Epstein lawsuits
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
U.S. charges FTX's Bankman-Fried with paying $40 million bribe
Nashville Police release bodycam footage showing officers neutralizing trans shooter of Christian school
Fallen 'Crypto King' Who Owes Millions to Investors Was Kidnapped and Tortured
Regulators blame social media for SVB's rapid collapse: 'Complete game changer'
AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
Singapore’s Prime Minister says China and US need to stabilize relations because world can't afford a confict between the two superpowers
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Drew Barrymore
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing