July 6, 2022

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Why are there protests in Ecuador? These are the reasons for the conflict

(CNN) – Ecuador entered its fifth day on Wednesday under a state of emergency mandated by President Guillermo Lasso due to “severe internal chaos” in several provinces of the country. The nationwide protest has been going on for more than a week.

The death toll from the protests has risen to four since the Ecuadorian police announced a new death this Wednesday in the wake of the protests.

Lasso Advertising Ordinance 455 by the exception of Cotopaxi and Pichincha provinces was repealed on Friday, this Monday and transferred to Order 459, which includes Imbabura, Chimborazo, Pastaza and Tungurahua provinces and has a 30-day grace period. The National Assembly has been debating the order since Monday night.

The move comes amid a massive national mobilization promoted by the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador (GONE) against the government, which began on Monday, June 13.

“I called for a conversation last night and the response was violent. No intention of looking for solutions. They are fighting for the cost of living, but closing the roads leading to shortages, rising prices and speculation. They say they want to improve health services, but they are blocking the passage of ambulances and putting our sick brothers and sisters at risk of death, ”Lasso said in his speech on Friday.

Are the protests trying to destabilize the Lazo government? 0:57

The president stressed that the violence, which has been going on since Monday, has forced the declaration of a state of emergency “to protect the capital and the country.”

“There are good people marching for legitimate reasons. We demand that we have not been able to attend yet,” the president added.

Meanwhile, the tribal movement set a series of conditions for resuming talks on Tuesday, including the militarization of some sections of Quito and the lifting of the state of emergency.

But why is the country engaged in struggles? These are the keys.

Origin of protests

Conaie, who has been leading national rallies for nine days in some provinces, is demanding that the government reduce fuel prices, address unemployment, regulate farm commodity prices and combat crime.

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Ecuador: Conaie will not speak with Lasso and protests continue 6:39

The day Lasso declared the first state of emergency, the Connie leadership insisted throughout Friday that it would continue the strike. Its leader, Leonidas Isa – who was arrested during Tuesday’s protests and later released – called for a peaceful demonstration and assured that there would be no riots in their mobilization.

On Thursday, Issa said he would not accept a conversation with no end in sight and promised to coordinate the mobilization of Native sites to Quito if his demands were not answered.

Friday, the fifth day of protests in many provinces, was marked by road closures, as in other days, especially in the Sierra provinces, where, as night fell, there were mobilizations in the historic center of Quito, which ended in clashes. Plaza de Santo Domingo between police and protesters.

Indigenous Ecuadorians march on Maldonado Avenue south of Guido on June 20, 2022.

National Police Reported According to his Twitter account, firefighters said three people had fallen into a ravine in Quilpamba, about 30 kilometers north of Quito, and one of them died. At present they do not provide additional details.

What does the emergency law say?

Order 455 includes the mobilization of various agencies, the use of coordinated action between the police and the armed forces, the control of crowds, and the curfew order restricting freedom of movement in the metropolitan area of ​​Quito from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am. To protect citizen protection and public order.

But Lasso rescinded the order and changed it to 459, which extended the exception to several provinces, including Cotobaxi, Pichincha, Impabura, Simborazo, Pastasa and Tungurahua.

The Presidential Decree states that “this announcement is being made because of the violent actions that have altered the public order, endangering the security of civilians and threatening the proper functioning of strategic sectors essential to the country’s economy.

What is being said in the National Assembly

Meanwhile, the legislature continued this Monday in which various legislators spoke in support of and against the state of emergency in the country.

Ecuadorian president calls for talks to end protests

An opponent drew a graffiti on June 16, 2022 in Quito entitled Freedom for Political Prisoners. (Credit: Christina Vega Roar / via AFP Getty Images)

Cristóbal Lloret, a legislator from the Correista Bloc of the Union for Hope Movement (UNES), said the repeal of Order 455 was “a prank” by the government, while legislator Ana Belén Cordero stressed that there was no need to discuss anything. It has already been canceled.

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The National Police rejected the intent to repeal the exemption status that promotes curfew orders from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am in 6 provinces and security coordination between the armed forces and the police.

“When we have a history of severe damage, raising the status quo is an irresponsible act, and they are not infiltrators, but they are part of a transparent group where some actors can fund it. Protest,” police said.

Lasso says they should throw him out

On his Twitter account, President Guillermo Lasso responded with a video, saying he would not allow disorder in the protests and, according to him, targeted those who wanted to remove him from power.

“They are looking for chaos. They want to overthrow the president. I’m here. I’m not going to escape.” Said In the video he posted on that social website.

Guillermo Lasso extended the state of emergency 4:08

What measures have been taken to prevent the crisis?

The president’s announcement on Friday was accompanied by a list of decisions on economic matters to alleviate what he called the “difficult situation of many families” when he unveiled the first emergency order. The Activities Announcements are as follows:

  • Increase human development bonus from US $ 50 to US $ 55.
  • Report the emergency to the public health system.
  • We need to double the budget for education between cultures.
  • Subsidize up to 50% of the price of urea fertilizer to small and medium producers.
  • Sorry for all the late credits up to US $ 3,000 on “BanEcuador”.
  • Agricultural credit up to US $ 5,000 1% and for a period of 30 years.
  • Do not increase the price of diesel, gas and extra petrol and eco.
  • Do not encourage the privatization of the public services and strategic sectors.
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Lasso invited civil society, doctors, artisans, farmers, carriers, universities and community organizations for the dialogue.

The Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office said the headquarters had been attacked.

The Ecuadorian state attorney general’s office said on Tuesday that its headquarters building in Quito had come under attack. The agency said in a statement on its social media network that it had asked the police and armed forces to strengthen security at the site to prevent new incidents.

In addition, they ensured that steps were taken to protect the officers and the files and sensitive information they were handling, and to avoid jeopardizing ongoing investigations and processes.

Leonidas Isa, tribal leader in Ecuador, has been released 3:22

“The State Attorney General’s Office recognizes the right of citizens to protest, but rejects any acts of sabotage, reaffirming its commitment to maintaining access to justice, especially if it threatens the integrity of the people and state property,” the official said. Note.

Four deaths have been reported so far.

In total and so far, officials say four people have died in the aftermath of the protest.

The last death on Tuesday in the province of Pastasa in the Amazon region occurred “as a result of handling an explosive device,” the National Police said in a statement. The police made it clear that this kind of material was not used to control the public order and that “peaceful citizens are still less than in parade and demonstrations.”

The agency said the case would be investigated by judicial authorities, stating that it was acting with “unrestricted respect for human rights” and would support clarification of all incidents of violence.

Two people were killed when ambulances blocked the way last Sunday, the health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. Earlier, police said Monday that a man had died after falling from a ravine in the Quilbamba area, about 30 kilometers north of Quito.

With information from Florencia Trucco.