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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Police Repress Student Protest Against Referendum

  • Student sit-in outside Central University, Quito, April 17, 2024.

    Student sit-in outside Central University, Quito, April 17, 2024. | Photo: X/ @ElEducadorEc

Published 17 April 2024

"Down with Neoliberalism, Up with Education" was the cry of the students who rejected Noboa.

Over the past week, blackouts have severely disrupted daily life in Ecuador, where citizens have taken to social media to express their discontent with President Daniel Noboa and his way of handling the energy crisis.


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On Wednesday afternoon, the protests moved to the streets in Quito, where students gathered to reject the government. Ecuadorian police forces, however, repressed the protesters.

“My energetic rejection of the repression against the Central University students. Today, Daniel Noboa, who promised us in the electoral campaign a new Ecuador and a new way of doing politics, shows himself as what he really is, namely, authoritarian, arrogant, and improvised,” said Jahiren Noriega, a young legislator from the Citizen's Revolution party.

These protests occurred four days before a referendum through which the Noboa administration seeks constitutional reforms related to labor issues, international arbitration of foreign investments, penalties for crimes, and participation of the army in internal security.

The text reads, "Police repressed Central University students during a rally against the popular consultation."

“'Down with Neoliberalism, Up with Education' was the cry of the students, who stood at the Central University fountain to reject President Noboa's consultation,” said community journalist Evelin Caiza.

Noboa issued a decree suspending work and attendance at classes in public and private institutions during Thursday and Friday. Although the presidential decree does not mention the energy crisis explicitly, its reason for being is related to the prolongued blackouts. 

On Tuesday, the Ecuadorian president said there would no longer be blackouts. However, a few hours after that offer, blackouts continued throughout the country.

Trying to justify what had happened, Noboa denounced the existence of "sabotage" by senior officials related to the electricity sector.

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