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Protests in Ecuador over rising prices of fuel, food enter 12th day

Protests in Ecuador over rising prices of fuel, food enter 12th day
June 25
07:00 2022

Protesters have refused to leave the streets of Ecuador amid demonstrations over the increasing cost of food, as well as hike in fuel prices.

The protests, which began on June 13, continued on Friday.

The demonstrations have led to clashes with security operatives, with four persons reportedly killed, several arrested, and others injured.

The protests, led by members of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, come amid a recent cut in fuel subsidies, which has caused fuel prices to increase.

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Among the protesters’ demands is that diesel and petrol be sold at $1.50 and $2.10 per gallon, respectively, but Guillermo Lasso, president of Ecuador — as part of measures to address the demands — has said the prices of diesel and petrol would be limited to $1.90 and $2.55, respectively.

The development comes after violent protests in 2019 — following the removal of fuel subsidies — which went on for more than 10 days.

Following the 2019 protests, the decision to cancel fuel subsidies was reversed.

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During the protest on Friday in Quito, the Ecuador capital, residents were seen marching, as some asked the president to resign, while others demanded favourable economic policies that would better the people’s plight amid the challenges associated with recovery from the COVID pandemic.

On Monday, Lasso approved new guidelines to support residents to tackle the increase in the cost of living.

On Wednesday, he held a meeting with representatives of the food production sector as part of efforts to address the increasing prices.

While advocating dialogue, the president has also met with representatives of civil society organisations on the issues surrounding the protests.

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In his latest comment on the development after a meeting with security operatives on Friday, Lasso — who clocked one year in office in May 2022 — said his government remains committed to promoting peace and ensuring sustainable livelihoods for the people.

“#EcuadorWantsPeace and I know that with the work done by the public force, we will guarantee it. I appreciate their bravery and drive with which they defend every man, woman and child of Ecuador. My full support to the work you do to return peace to the country,” he wrote according to a post translated on his Facebook page.

“From day one of my Government, we have worked to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities; today more than ever, we will not let chaos want to control us.

“We will act putting the safety of Ecuadorians in strict law enforcement.”

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