The Latin American nation is in the midst of social protests against the government
Protests in Ecuador. / Photo: ANDES News Agency - Reference Image
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
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Leer en español: ¿En qué va la crisis en Ecuador?
Since last October 3, Ecuador is in crisis. Due to the issuance of a decree to raise the price of gasoline, the country has been mired in protests against the decision, which has been called a "pack" (paquetazo). The demonstrations led President Lenín Moreno to decree the state of emergency in order to control the situation.
The national strike on October 9 sought to define the crisis because of the pack. The indigenous peoples of Ecuador decided to join the mobilizations and thousands of them marched against the "pack" (paquetazo) and some of them requested the president's resignation. Although there were violent clashes between the authorities and the protesters, Moreno said through his Twitter account that the protests developed normally.
En Quito recibí el reporte de que las marchas se desarrollan con normalidad. Hermanos indígenas, me alegra que hayan separado de sus manifestaciones pacíficas, a los elementos perniciosos. Y qué grato es anunciar que los diálogos ya empiezan a dar frutos.#EcuadorPaísdePaz pic.twitter.com/D6NhA0XBfu— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) 9 de octubre de 2019
As the BBC notes, "Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner also pointed out to the press that a dialogue had begun with the indigenous and workers' movements, supported by the UN, the Catholic Church and university rectors".
However, protesters contradicted the government's version and said that at the moment the dialogue that allows the country to overcome this crisis has not been initiated. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE, in Spanish), through Twitter, denied the vice presidency and reported being victims of exaggerated violence by the authorities.
#ElParoNoPara El Movimiento Indígena desmiente al vicepresidente de la República @ottosonnenh al asegurar que se realizan diálogos con dirigentes en la @ONUecuador. Ratificamos que en este momento se encuentra junto a las bases en las calles Galápagos y Benalcazar.— CONAIE (@CONAIE_Ecuador) 9 de octubre de 2019
In addition, according to EFE, the Unitary Front of Workers (FUT, in Spanish) also denied the dialogues, although it confirmed that there were initial approaches. These were suspended because the FUT ensures that the government has not addressed the main approach of the marches: the suspension of the decree.
The country is already beginning to feel the economic consequences of the protests. The BBC explains that, due to the crisis, oil production has been reduced. In addition, there has been an increase in means of transportation, food shortages in the markets, and speculation on the price of food.
Leaders from other nations have shown their support for the Ecuadorian president. Sebastián Piñera, president of Chile, supported Moreno and Ecuadorian democracy.
Ante los intentos de alteración del orden público en Ecuador, manifiesto mi total apoyo a la democracia, el Estado de Derecho y los esfuerzos del Presidente @lenin por mantener la paz y el orden en Ecuador, utilizando todos los instrumentos que le otorga la Constitución y la Ley.— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) 8 de octubre de 2019
For his part, Juan Guaidó declared that “while President @ Lenin Moreno works to maintain and strengthen the Republic and institutions of Ecuador, a group financed by Maduro's accomplices in America, taking advantage of the most vulnerable, seeks to end the stability of the country. Solidarity with Ecuador ”.
Mientras el presidente @Lenin Moreno trabaja por mantener y fortalecer la República e instituciones de Ecuador, un grupo financiado por los cómplices de Maduro en America, aprovechándose de los más vulnerables busca, acabar con la estabilidad del pais.— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) 8 de octubre de 2019
Solidarios con el Ecuador
The tension between the government and the protesters continues to grow. The austerity measures promoted by Moreno have led sectors of Ecuadorian society to rise against the president. In fact, the president, in conversation with the BBC, said that former president Rafael Correa Nicolás Maduro is promoting violence.