Ecuador’s government, indigenous leaders met after mass protests

Ecuador’s government, indigenous leaders met after mass protests

Ecuador’s government, indigenous leaders met after mass protests

Ecuador’s government

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  • Informally speaking for the first time since widespread protests broke out in Ecuador two weeks ago, 
  • At least six civilian deaths and numerous assaults on security officers have resulted from the occasionally violent rallies 
  • The protests have exacerbated President Guillermo Lasso’s already hostile relationship with the national congress.
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Informally speaking for the first time since widespread protests broke out in Ecuador two weeks ago, the administration and indigenous leaders met on Saturday, according to the speaker of the legislature, Virgilio Saquicela.

At least six civilian deaths and numerous assaults on security officers have resulted from the occasionally violent rallies that began on June 13 in response to indigenous demands for cheaper food and fuel costs among other things.

The protests have exacerbated President Guillermo Lasso’s already hostile relationship with the national congress. As he battles to rein in the violence that he blames on drug gangs, lawmakers have been obstructing his major economic projects.

The assembly was scheduled to convene on Saturday night at the request of several opposition MPs to discuss removing Lasso from office, but it doesn’t seem like they have the necessary support.

Formal negotiations between Lasso’s administration and demonstrators, led by the indigenous group CONAIE, had been deadlocked for days despite several government concessions, including subsidies for fertilisers, debt forgiveness, and budget increases for health and education.

“This dialogue has begun, but there haven’t been any commitments,” Saquicela told journalists. “We as the assembly have asked … for tensions to be lowered, for fewer confrontations while a solution is found.”

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Several government ministers as well as CONAIE leader Leonidas Iza participated, according to Saquicela.

Iza stated that indigenous groups would remain in Quito until they receive a suitable response from Lasso, but they would partially unblock roads blocked during protests to let food into the capital where inhabitants have complained of inadequate supplies.

“The blood that has been shed by our comrades will not be left here. We came here with a mission, “Iza addressed the protesters.

Security forces have said that rubber pellets could be used to stop violence and that armed criminals had infiltrated marches.

Indigenous organisations have called for the cancellation of mining and oil projects, and protesters have infiltrated flower fields and oil fields, causing equipment damage at certain sites.

According to the energy ministry, the oil industry failed to generate 1 million barrels of petroleum, resulting in a $96 million loss. The Mirador copper mine likewise said that it has stopped operations since essential supplies can no longer reach it due to road closures.

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