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Mobilizations will continue until the councils meet with the Minister of Economy and Finance.
The Ombudsman's Office rejected this Wednesday through a statement the National Government of Lenín Moreno's repressive attitude against the Decentralized Autonomous Governments' legitimate demands (GADs).
"The Ombudsman's Office of Ecuador rejects, in a forceful manner, the repression that occurred today during the march called by the Association of Municipalities of Ecuador in the city of Quito to demand the payment of overdue budget allocations to the GADs by the central government," the statement said.
According to the Ombudsman's Office, the outstanding payments for the fiscal year 2020 for municipalities amount to about $1.05 billion.
"We remind the President of the Republic and, through him, the Minister of Government that the State has an obligation to generate an adequate environment and conditions for the exercise of the right to peaceful protest," the Defensoría alerted.
This public legal body with national jurisdiction condemned the events that occurred and expressed its concern for the ineffective policy of resource allocation to the GAD's, who promoted the demand of their rights by peaceful protest.
"The National Human Rights Institution verified in situ and through the media, the violence with which they tried to prevent a large group of people representing GAD's of the country from exercising their legitimate right to peaceful protest, freedom of expression and resistance," highlighted the statement.
"Attention | The #DefensoríaDelPueblo rejects the repressive attitude of the National Government towards the legitimate demands of the Autonomous Decentralized Governments. More details: https://bit.ly/3v99Z9X."
On Tuesday afternoon, several mayors held a meeting with the Minister of Government, Gabriel Martinez, at the Quito Municipality Hall. The meeting was held after the mayors' demonstration was repressed by security forces with tear gas.
The meeting did not result in an agreement for payment of the pending debt. The Association of Ecuadorian Municipalities (AME) explained that, although Martínez received them, the representatives of the 221 town councils of the country decided to maintain the mobilization in the capital "until they are attended to by the Minister of Economy and Finance, and their demands are resolved."
Further, AME Executive Committee member, Lucía Sosa, expressed her rejection of the central government's response and emphasized that the Executive is turning a deaf ear to their demands.
"We are complying with the resolution we took in the assembly of AME Nacional, and we decided to march to demand from the Minister of the National Government compliance with the Law of Territorial Equity that in 2020 cut practically 43% of the budgets of the decentralized autonomous governments—which today makes that debt 763 million dollars."