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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Ecuador: $135 million in loss from unemployment

Quito ( Associated Press) – Ecuador suffered $135 million in losses, particularly in sectors such as production, exports and tourism, due to national protests called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, the production minister said on Wednesday.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Minister Julio José Prado specified that the losses are “accumulating and growing rapidly … at the beginning of the mobilization they were in the order of three million to five million dollars a day .. Now they have spent over $30 million a day.

He stressed that there are many sectors that have been greatly affected, among them, “the export of flowers which is almost paralyzed, the food sector, the dairy sector which is throwing more than a million dollars a day in milk; cattle. The protein sector, with losses of more than two million a day; in cattle, chicken and pig chains and, finally, in the tourism sector, where 80% of reservations have been cancelled.

The US State Department on Wednesday raised its alert level for travel to Ecuador and warned Americans to reconsider visiting the South American country due to unrest and violence.

In addition, Ecuador had to declare a state of emergency for all hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation operators and all stages of the industry to avoid potential lawsuits for breach of contract. The protests have forced the closure of about 609 oil production wells in the Amazon, with a daily loss of 30,000 barrels, the equivalent of $17 million, as of Tuesday.

Since June 14, the indigenous organization, the largest of its kind, has indefinitely sustained a national strike – which has affected six provinces particularly in the north central Andean region – slashing the price of gasoline by 2.55. demanded. dollars per gallon to $2.10, setting prices for agricultural products and a larger budget for education, among other demands.

The protests have been characterized by intermittent roadblocks and the virtual paralysis of some cities, with groups of protesters taking to the streets and forcing businesses to close with violence and threats.

Regarding the lack of food in several cities, especially in Quito, Prado said that “it is starting to become worrying, we are coordinating the convoys with the armed forces”, some of which have been successful and others have overcome obstacles. are not able to remove. ,

He specified that an airlift was also active “with a Brazilian Air Force aircraft and another from Colombia transporting emergency supplies and especially medicines, which were operating in some areas.” He said there are also two private airlines which have made their planes available for use in private airlift.

“All this is not enough, as the greatest amount of provision is made by the land,” he said.

Prado recognized that greater state attention is necessary in areas such as health because “we agree with a good portion of the protesters that we have to strengthen public investment” and in dialogue initiatives to end the protests by indigenous peoples. invited to join. location. “Violence is rising to unexpected levels.”

He said that “we have to protect democracy… It is not in anyone’s interest to break the democratic and institutional order in the country, it will only deepen the crisis that we are experiencing at the moment.”

The government is open to negotiations, but indigenous peoples have previously conditioned their aid on lifting a state of emergency, removing police cordons from protest locations in Quito, and handing over El Arbolito Park and the neighboring House of Culture. , organized by the police, places where protesters traditionally congregate.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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