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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Military Curfew Partially Lifted in Quito, Gov't, Indigenous Groups to Hold Talks

  • A demonstrator throws a molotov cocktail during a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures in Quito, Ecuador October 12, 2019.

    A demonstrator throws a molotov cocktail during a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures in Quito, Ecuador October 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 October 2019

Ecuadorean government lifted the military curfew partially in some parts of the capital city Quito while protesters are waiting for talks between the president and Indigenous groups. 

The anti-government protests kept up demonstrations Sunday despite a military curfew announced by President Lenin Moreno a day earlier. The curfew has been partially lifted between 11:30 am and 8:00 pm local time, however, some main and important roads are still blocked and some areas are under curfew. 


Ecuador: Nation on Military Lockdown

The president's Decree 893 handed over the status of the existing national state of exception to the military. The military responded by limiting people's mobility across the country starting at 3:00 pm Saturday in “all sensitive and important areas” for 24 hours, or for however long the state of exception lasts. Only the military or the president can decide for how long the curfew would last. 

The Metropolitan Transit Agency of Quito (AMT) reported that six main roads are closed due to the curfew including the important Simon Bolivar Avenue. The historic center of Quito, the main area for mobilizations, a strict curfew is imposed with every main road being blocked. 

No mode of transportation is open including city transportation services like Ecovia and Trolebus. 

After the curfew was imposed Saturday, reports of attacks on safe spaces for the Indigenous protesters-like La Casa de la Cultura (the House of Culture), Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador (Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador)-came out. However, an indigenous protester said Sunday morning that they were able to rest in clam in the Casa de la Cultura. 

“We were able to rest in calm in the Casa de Cultura. We’ve had a meeting with the top leaders, today we are going to maintain calm and respect that because today at 3 we have a meeting with the government and the UN,” the protester to teleSUR. 

“We are firm in maintaining that this decree needs to be scrapped, only by scrapping this decree can we start talking about peace," he added referring to decree 883 which eliminated fuel subsides in line with recommendations by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

"From tomorrow our strike will have a greater strategy, we have already lost so many, seen so many injured. We must all be attentive at 3 pm (local time) because on public television we will find out about the meeting with the government and the UN. We will be concentrated here, and hopefully with the decree is scrapped then we can go, at least with that.” 

The dialogues were announced between the government and the Ecuadorean Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie). The talks will be mediated by the United Nations Ecuador and the Ecuadorean Episcopal Conference.

Nonetheless, the protesters are stocking up in anticipation of potential clashes. People from Universidad Central del Ecuador (Central University, Ecuador), another safe space for the demonstrators, came to the protest site with supplies for fires and barricades. 

On Saturday, a group of protesters took over the Comptroller’s office Saturday and the authorities arrested 34 protesters concerning that. State Attorney General's Office wrote on Twitter that two women and 4 adolescents are among the arrested. ​​​​​​​

Conaie issued multiple statements denying any responsibility for the actions against the Comptroller’s office.

Since the protests started more than at least six people have died, while hundreds have been injured, according to official estimates.

At least 1,000 people have been arrested, while journalists have been assaulted and progressive media houses are facing censorship including teleSUR which was taken off two air by different cable tv companies Saturday night. The signal returned Sunday on one of the cable providers, according to statements by teleSUR and viewer reports. 

Meanwhile, the president, who fled from the capital city Quito due to the unrest, is still in the coastal city of Salinas, near Guayaquil. He said he would hold a special session of the National Assembly next Monday.

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