Quito ( Associated Press) – President Guillermo Lasso on Monday declared a state of emergency in six of Ecuador’s provinces, where protests called by indigenous peoples turned violent amid a national strike called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities a week ago that That’s the largest country. kind in the country
The decree would govern the provinces of Imbabura, Pichincha—whose capital is Quito—, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Pastaza, and states that the decision is due to “violent actions that have changed the public order” and that will lead to the operation of strategic areas. is at risk. for the economy.
This presidential order, valid for 30 days, restricts freedom of assembly, association and mobilization, among other things, and declares Quito as a security zone, and replaces a similar order issued on Friday. where the three provinces remain in a state of exception. ,
The government’s response came as thousands of indigenous people and farmers entered the capital during the day demanding that the government focus on 10 points, including a reduction in the price of gasoline.
The protesters, with long sticks in their hands, overcame the police and military cordon waiting for them on the road and tried to disperse them by releasing tear gas shells.
As they passed, protesters entered small businesses to steal food and other items, in addition to banging the tires of private vehicles, breaking or puncturing windows. It is not clear where specifically they were going in the capital, as the traditional meeting place, the so-called Parque de El Arbolito and the neighboring building of the Casa de la Cultura, have been taken over by law enforcement officers.
Police confirmed the first victim of days of protests, a young man who rolled down a steep ravine on the outskirts of Quito, where some of its main roads are blocked, especially those linked to land access from the north and south. , while hundreds of protesters in the port city of Guayaquil, dressed in white, spoke out against the strike and in favor of democracy.
In the past week, main roads have been nearly closed, including the Pan-American one in the northern Andean center, which has almost engulfed Quito with protests, leading to shortages of many products, mainly agriculture, and in smaller towns such as Cayambe. and Otavalo, the shortage of petrol and gas according to officials.
On Friday, President Guillermo Lasso signed several decrees addressing some indigenous demands, but was unable to end the protests.