Ecuadors violent demonstrations enter second day
0 month ago, 10-Oct-2019
Demonstrators clash with riot police in Quito. AFP photo
QUITO: Protesters in Ecuador fought a running battle with security forces Wednesday in a second day of violent demonstrations over a fuel price hike that forced the government to suspend most of the countrys deliveries of crude.
The violence broke out as thousands of people representing indigenous groups, farmers, students and labor unions marched on a square in Quitos historic center near the government headquarters.
Masked demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and paving stones. Clouds of tear gas and palls of black smoke from burning tires rose over the colonial downtown area, a Unesco world heritage site.
After clashes broke out in the area Tuesday, the government of President Lenin Moreno posted security forces to keep the march from reaching the plaza.
Protesters on Wednesday broke off from the main procession and hurled rocks at riot police, who fought back with volleys of tear gas and water cannon.
Several people were injured in the clashes.
The protesters are demanding that Moreno reinstate fuel subsidies that were rescinded after US$4.2 billion in loans was agreed with the IMF.
Without a doubt, this is going to be solved very soon, Moreno said in a video broadcast on state television following the days violence.
But indigenous leader Salvador Quishpe said the demonstration is ongoing, it has not ended.
Thousands meanwhile gathered in the port city of Guayaquil some 270 kilometres southwest of Quito, in protest at the demonstrations in the capital.
Democracy will not fall in the streets of Guayaquil! the citys mayor Cynthia Viteri told the crowd, most of whom were dressed in white in a pro-peace display.
Our countrys economy has to move forward, said 60-year-old shopkeeper Patricia Castillo, defending the governments fuel price hikes. AFP