Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno has declared a curfew and sent in troops to force protesters off the streets of the capital Quito. Ecuador’s armed forces announced that movement around the country would be restricted for 24 hours.
Moreno finally agreed to assess the cancellation of fuel subsidies that had triggered the massive unrest in Ecuador.
The move was one of the austerity measures introduced by the government in order to meet the conditions of a unnecessary $4.2 billion loan deal with the plundering IMF.
The president also offered to begin talks with protest leaders to settle the crisis, and they have accepted his invitation.
One of the conditions was that the talks be held in public and be broadcast live. “We’re not going to talk behind closed doors. It has to be with the Ecuadorian people,” one of the protest leaders said.
Footage from Quito on Saturday resembled a war zone, with barricades, fires and plumes of tear gas fired by the police at the raging crowds.
Thick smoke rises into the air with crowds of people rioting, as sounds of explosions rocked the streets. The demonstrators also blocked all roads leading to Quito International Airport.
The protesters, mainly represented by Ecuador’s indigenous people, set the Comptroller General’s Office on fire and ravaged the parliament building, breaking windows and throwing furniture into the street.
The administrative buildings taken over by the protesters were empty, as Moreno had already moved the government to the city of Guayaquil, located 250 km southwest of Quito.
It was the capital’s 10th straight day of unrest, which broke out after the government announced austerity measures.
The suspension of fuel subsidies saw the price of gasoline spike from $1.85 to $2.39 per gallon, while diesel prices went up by a staggering 123% – from $1.03 to $2.29.
Five people have been killed and over 1,000 wounded in clashes since October 3, according to government data. The police have arrested over 1,100 demonstrators.
Moreno was previously reluctant to reconsider the harsh measures, and blamed former president, Rafael Correa, and his Venezuelan ally Nicolas Maduro, of masterminding the demonstrations?
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.