Ecuador declares state of emergency as Indigenous groups protest fuel prices


Ecuador declared a state of emergency in three provinces late Friday amid violent protests by Indigenous people demanding cuts in fuel prices.

“I am committed to defending our capital and our country,” President Guillermo Lasso said on television.

The state of emergency is declared in three provinces, including the capital Quito.

On Monday, Indigenous groups in Ecuador took to the streets, protesting against the government’s economic policies.

The demonstrators blocked roads in the Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Pastaza, Napo, and Tungurahua provinces, according to the local press.

More than 53 NGOs from various sectors reportedly participated in the demonstrations.

In Ecuador, going through serious economic and social crises in recent years, the government says financial reforms are necessary to revive the economy due to the IMF debt.

Indigenous people in the country account for over 1 million in a population of roughly 18 million.

In 2019, riot police faced many Indigenous groups that were protesting against former President Lenin Moreno’s austerity measures, forcing him to withdraw his plans to raise fuel prices.

President Lasso said authorities will not allow “political groups to destabilize Ecuador, profit from the chaos, and paralyze the country.”

Indigenous leaders warned that the protests will continue until Lasso gives in to their demands.

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