Quito, the capital of Ecuador is a war zone for the last two weeks. Protests have erupted across the country after Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno announced that he is ending fuel subsidies.
This is one of many neoliberal austerity reforms being pushed by the Moreno government.
The national strike was coordinated by indigenous groups in conjunction with Ecuador’s biggest trade unions and the student movement and was heavily repressed by military and police forces.
What started as protests against ending fuel subsidies has taken shape into an indigenous people led anti-International Monetary fund (IMF) and the neoliberal model imposed by the IMF masters.
In March 2019, a 4.2 billion dollar IMF loan was granted to Ecuador with strings attached i.e provided they give up Julian Assange.
IMF board in its statement stated- “We are here to help you” says the IMF. Our objective is to help Ecuador “modernize its economy and pave the way for strong, sustained, and equitable growth.”
This was followed by the imposition of several austerity measures by the government.
Moreno’s government lifted the petrol and diesel subsidies on 30th September, 2 weeks ago as part of a $4.2bn loan deal with the International Monetary Fund(IMF) last year.
Ending fuel subsidies means that poor, working-class people will have to pay more for gas while private energy companies walk away with more profits.
“What the government has done is reward the big banks, the capitalists, and punish poor Ecuadorians,” said Mesías Tatamuez, head of the Workers’ United Front umbrella union.
Thousands of protesters from across the country – many in traditional indigenous dress – have descended on the capital to protest Moreno’s austerity measures.
— H D (@hussedogru) October 12, 2019
Protest leaders said that the vast majority of protesters were marching because the fuel price hike had inflated food and transport prices and the indigenous people were the hardest hit.
Demonstrators also tried unsuccessfully to storm barricades around the presidential palace that forced President Lenín Moreno to move his government to the port city of Guayaquil on 7th October.
Equador é resistência pic.twitter.com/q57IhW5QfF
— Leila Argollo Lula da Silva (@Leila_Argollo) October 13, 2019
Lenin Moreno´s administration has moved the country in a right-wing direction after former President Rafael Correa left office in May 2017. Though he enjoys the support of business and the military, Moreno’s popularity has sunk to under 30%, compared with 70% in 2017.
Many of the progressive policies established under ex-President Rafael Correa have been rolled back since Moreno took power.
Povos originários, estudantes, trabalhadores, uma marcha histórica no Equador para entrar em #Quito contra o governo ultraliberal e entreguista de Lenín Moreno. E nós, Brasil? Quando? #ParoNacionalEcuador #ImpeachmentdoBolsonaroURGENTE pic.twitter.com/1smnKwCmhO
— Humberto Costa (@senadorhumberto) October 9, 2019
Indigenous protesters in Ecuador have paraded a group of captured police officers on stage in a brazen show of defiance to the government of Lenín Moreno, as protests against austerity-measures dragged into a second week.
Indigenous protests have played a central role in toppling a string of Ecuador’s presidents, including Abdalá Bucaram in 1997, Jamil Mahuad in 2000 and Lucio Gutiérrez in 2005.
Isso não está acontecendo na Venezuela, Está acontecendo no Equador com o governo de @Lenin onde os direitos humanos estão sendo violados! Onde estão as organizações internacionais que criticam tanto a Venezuela
e dizem defender os direitos humanos? pic.twitter.com/zbv59dw3oI
— Ana Maria (@AnaBurk04439285) October 12, 2019
The story is being updated:
President Lenín Moreno and leaders of Ecuador’s indigenous peoples struck a deal today to cancel a disputed austerity package and end nearly two weeks of protests that have paralyzed the economy and left seven dead.
Under the agreement announced just before 10 p.m., Moreno will withdraw the International Monetary Fund-backed package known as Decree 883 that included a sharp rise in fuels. Indigenous leaders, in turn, will call on their followers to end protests and street blockades.