Quito. Rivers of protesters increase the pressure in the militarized streets of the capital Quito. The indigenous people and the Ecuadorian government measure forces with no way out yet in sight after 10 days of crisis with protests that leave two dead and dozens injured.
On Wednesday, the Ecuadorian government rejected the indigenous request to repeal the state of exception that governs six of the 24 provinces and the Ecuadorian capital.
Faced with the official refusal, the protest movement returned to the charge to demand a reduction in fuel prices, among other actions that cushion the cost of the basic food basket.
Arriving from various points, about 10,000 indigenous people have been in Quito since Monday. As they go, they burn tires and build barricades with tree trunks. Barbed wire, fences and military protect the presidential headquarters. The city is semi-paralyzed.
The government of President Guillermo Lasso has “hands stained with blood,” launched the indigenous Leonidas Iza, leader of the mobilization, in the face of the repression denounced by the protesters.
Between Monday and Tuesday, two people have died in the midst of the protests, according to the Alliance of Organizations for Human Rights, which also registers 90 injured and 87 detained since June 13. According to the police, there are 101 wounded troops and soldiers.
However, Iza, president of the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie), said that he is willing to “dialogue” without intermediaries and under “oversight” that guarantees “results.”
As a starting point, Conaie wants the state of emergency under which the military left the barracks to be lifted and a nightly curfew was decreed in Quito.
But the Government Minister, Francisco Jiménez, was emphatic: “We cannot lift the state of emergency because that is to leave the capital defenseless, and we already know what happened in October 2019 and we are not going to allow it,” he said in an interview. with Teleamazonas.
With the approaches in deadlock, the protests advance in the rest of the country. On Tuesday, an attack on police facilities in the Amazon town of Puyo left one dead and six uniformed men seriously injured, according to the Interior Ministry.
The head of the portfolio, Patricio Carrillo, reported at a press conference that 18 police officers are “disappeared” and three more were “retained” by indigenous people.
We are “too angry with the government,” said Olmedo Ayala, a 42-year-old indigenous man who came to Quito from Cotopaxi province.
Diesel rose 90% and regular gasoline 46% in almost a year, which increased the cost of freight. The indigenous assure that they are harvesting at a loss. Since last October prices have been frozen by social pressure.
After days of protests, with roadblocks and mobilizations, there is beginning to be a shortage of supplies, while the cry resounds in the streets: “Lasso out, out!”