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Monday, July 4, 2022

Ecuador refuses to lift state of emergency; 18. Policemen went missing after the attack

Ecuador on Wednesday refused to lift the state of emergency and said 18 police officers were missing after an attack by indigenous protesters on a police station in the eastern Amazon.

Two people have died in a 10-day protest in which the government declared a state of emergency in six of Ecuador’s 24 departments after violent clashes between protesters and security forces.

About 90 civilians and 100 members of the security forces were injured in the clashes, and the interior minister said 18 officers were missing after the attack in the Amazonian city of Puyo.

According to Patricio Carrillo, six more officers were seriously injured and three more were detained by protesters.

A protester also died in an attack in Puyo, a five-hour drive south of Quito, the government said Tuesday evening.

“The crowd started setting fire to the police who were still in the patrol cars, started looting, burning public and private facilities such as the Guayaquil bank, the Red Cross, until they set police facilities in the city center on fire,” Carrillo said.

Conditions for dialogue

President Guillermo Lasso has proposed dialogue with the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador (CONAIE), which has sparked protests, in an attempt to end the escalation of violence.

But CONAIE leader Leonidas Iza said the talks would be conditional on the lifting of the state of emergency and the “demilitarization” of a public park in Quito, which is a traditional gathering place for indigenous peoples but is now under the control of security forces.

“We cannot lift the state of emergency because that would leave the capital defenseless and we already know what happened in October 2019 and we will not let that happen,” government minister Francisco Jiménez told Teleamazonas.

Police confront demonstrators during clashes in the El Arbolito Park area in Quito, June 22, 2022, the 10th consecutive day of indigenous protests against the government of Ecuador.

In 2019, CONAIE led two weeks of nationwide protests in which 11 people died and more than 1,000 were injured, also resulting in $800 million in losses.

In the capital, Quito, indigenous protesters seized the congress, set fire to the comptroller’s office, and damaged public and private property.

“Sit down and talk”

The capital was again at the epicenter of the protests.

CONAIE, which has mobilized at least 10,000 people in Quito, hundreds of whom have clashed with security forces in recent days, wants the government to cut fuel prices.

“Now is not the time to put more conditions, make more demands. Now is the time to sit down and talk,” Jimenez said.

“Unfortunately, according to the information we have, there has been an accidental loss of life and we cannot wait any longer.”

An indigenous protester died after being “hit in the face with what appeared to be a tear gas bomb” on Tuesday after a “confrontation” with security forces in Puyo, a lawyer for the Alliance of Human Rights Organizations told AFP.

The police said that “the person was believed to have died as a result of the handling of an explosive device.”

Murder investigation

Another protester died on Monday after falling into a ravine outside of Quito, and police said it was also an accident.

However, the prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case on the murder.

The alliance said that since the protests began on June 13, 90 people have been injured and 87 arrested.

Police said 101 officers and soldiers were injured and 27 were temporarily detained by protesters.

It said that 80 civilians were arrested.

Quito was relatively calm Wednesday morning.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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