The social protest in Ecuador celebrated its tenth consecutive day this Wednesday with massive mobilizations in Quito, some peaceful and others strongly repressed by the Police, while the possibility of dialogue between President Guillermo Lasso and the indigenous leader Leonidas Iza seems to be postponed.
Although the unions were expected to burst onto the scene, it has been the peasant and student organizations that have figured, as well as the police and soldiers who maintain control in some areas of central Quito besieged by protesters.
A massive and peaceful peasant march, which passed through the streets of the center of the capital, managed to reach the Plaza de Santo Domingo, which was overwhelmed by the mobilization with which the indigenous movement showed muscle.RELATED
The security forces did not act and prudently only accompanied the demonstrators who echoed their demands very close to the Plaza de la Independencia, where the presidential palace is located, heavily guarded by police, military and gigantic security fences.
The tree trophy
That of the unions was a minor march, since the bulk of that group has decided to support the mobilizations of the peasants and the students who confront the forces of order almost all day around the El Arbolito park, a trophy that now they hoard policemen and soldiers, despite the fact that it has traditionally been an enclave of protesters.
That central park was already the epicenter of the October 2019 protests, also led by the indigenous movement, against the elimination of fuel subsidies and that resulted in a national level of a dozen deaths and some 1,500 injuries.
The environment of El Arbolito, where the Casa de la Cultura complex is also located, occupied by the Police, turned this Wednesday for the second consecutive day into a tear gas capsule.
In something similar to a game, the agents repelled the protesters who tried, unsuccessfully, to gain space in the streets surrounding the House of Culture, with the aim of recovering it for the popular ranks.
The police and military had to work hard, at times, to avoid the attacks of the young people who, in the heat, destroyed some commercial booths installed on the sidewalks.
Prosecutor’s office invaded
Attacks were also recorded against the building where the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation works, which allowed us to remember a similar event in the indigenous protests of 2019, when the building of the Comptroller’s Office was set on fire.
And while the protest has maintained this tone for several days, at the Central University, converted into a shelter for the thousands of peasants who have come to Quito from other provinces of the country, Leonidas Iza asked the security forces to cease the repression, which, As he assured, he has left at least three dead.
Iza also assured that the protest will continue and that the possibility of it coming to an end depends on the concrete and verifiable answers given by the Government.
The indigenous leader considered that, throughout history, the indigenous movement and other social sectors have been deceived with offers from the different governments, and that now the mobilization will only be suspended when the Executive delivers true solutions to the demands.
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), chaired by Iza, asks that the price of gasoline be reduced, that prices be controlled, that there be no privatizations of state companies, nor a labor flexibility that makes employment precarious and that the debts of the peasants are alleviated, among others.
Government continues to offer dialogue
On his side, President Lasso has once again called for a dialogue process, although he has also denounced his fear that they want to remove him from power.
The Minister of Government, Francisco Jiménez, asked Iza to start a dialogue this Wednesday to try to bring the positions closer and, finally, overcome the mobilizations.
Jiménez said that his government has accepted “the call of the UN, the European Union and more than 300 civil society organizations so that, through dialogue,” the positions be openly discussed.
The minister questioned the violence of the demonstrations and criticized the imposition of conditions for dialogue.
On this scenario, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, issued a statement on Wednesday in which he also called for dialogue, urged the Government to meet the demands of the indigenous people and expressed concern about “coup speeches” against Lasso.
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