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  • A demonstrator covers his face as a tear gas canister falls near him during a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures in Quito, Ecuador, October 9, 2019.

    A demonstrator covers his face as a tear gas canister falls near him during a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures in Quito, Ecuador, October 9, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 October 2019

The indigenous movement also confirmed that it will continue the national mobilization against the measures.

Ecuador’s main indigenous organization, Conferedation of Indigenous Nationalies of Ecuador (CONAIE) denied Wednesday the declarations from vice president Otto Sonnenholzner, who said that negotiations between the government and the CONAIE had begun. The vice president made the claim during a press conference held at the UN headquarters in Guayaquil.

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Instead, they tweeted, they were protesting in the capital of Quito at the intersection of "Benalcazar and Galapagos streets," near the presidential palace that the president and officials evacuated Monday night for fear of the social movements.

#ElParoNoPara The Indigenous Movement denies the Vice President of the Republic @ottosonnenh declaration that dialogues are being held with leaders in the @ONUecuador. We confirm that at this time the organization is next to its people at the streets of Galapagos and Benalcazar.

On Tuesday night, the confederation rejected the executive order to mandate a "curfew" and partial ban on public access to areas around state buildings and installations further north within the city, calling it a "dictatorial measure" to ward off anti-government protests.

The CONAIE said the government is weak and that these types of decisions, and the government's decision to move the country's capital to Guayaquil, where many ministry heads hail from, demonstrated its inability to resolve the situation calmly.

The government is a "debacle, as demonstrated by authorities’ inability to respond to social mobilization and resistance movements," the group said in a statement.

President Lenin Moreno’s government issued a decree Tuesday restricting free movement and assembly in areas surrounding state institutions and strategic facilities from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for as long as the state of exception, announced Oct. 3, lasts.

"We denounce the dimension of this measure, in the style of a military dictatorship, we alert international human rights organizations of what this may cause," the organization said.

For a week, protests have taken place nationwide following the government's outlining the austerity measures it adopted at the behest of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for a US$4.2 billion, three year loan. Within the austerity package is the elimination of a fuel subsidies, which, on Thursday, drove fuel prices up by over 100 percent across the nation.

An estimated 20,000 people from Indigenous, Campesino groups marched to Quito from all across the country, arriving there Monday night and early Tuesday morning. They managed to take parliament for approximately one hour on Tuesday in protest of the government's economic reforms.

Military and police repression against the social movements and other protesters was strongest on Tuesday when at least 80 people were arrested. At least four people have died in relation to the protests so far, and hundreds have been injured and affected by police tear gas.

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