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  • People carry the coffin holding the body of a demonstrator they claim was killed during protests against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures, in Quito, Ecuador October 10, 2019.

    People carry the coffin holding the body of a demonstrator they claim was killed during protests against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures, in Quito, Ecuador October 10, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 October 2019

Tucumbi was a leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie), which has been leading the protests for almost a week.

The body of indigenous leader Inocencio Tucumbi who was killed during demonstrations against government austerity measures, was carried through the streets of Quito, Ecuador on Thursday to a cultural center where indigenous groups amassed for a ceremony to honor the victim.

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Gustavo Tucumbi identified the victim as his father, saying while fighting back tears: "The indigenous people are here, a fighting people, a firm people. My father was one of them, fighting until his last. He left a tremendous story that the people must listen to, the nation must listen to."

Confirming the death on Wednesday, the ombudsman, a state office that monitors conflicts, said a man died of brain trauma, possibly from a tear gas canister to the head.

In addition to Tucumbi, the Ombudsman also confirmed the deaths of at least four additional protestors so far: Raúl Chilpe, Marco Otto, José Daniel Chaluiza and José Rodrigo Chaluiza across the national territory, and condemned the "excessive use of force" by authorities. 

The communique also mentions the official estimate of 929 people arrested and 554 injured.

Civil society groups are also reporting that over 800 are currently detained, including 13 journalists. Furthermore, at least 500 are reported injured.

There were also attacks on Wednesday night against a humanitarian center near Salesiana University. The area provided refuge and shelter for Indigenous marchers, which during the night police attacked the area with tear gas. Ecuador’s Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo has since apologized for the attack. 

Protests show little sign of abating as Indigenous groups deny government claims that there are negotiations ongoing to bring the uprising to an end. Protesters maintain their opposition to the government's austerity package that followed a multi-billion dollar loan from the IMF. 

Indigenous organizations revealed Thursday that they had arrested eight police officers in Quito as they called on the authrorities to half repression tactics against anti-government protesters, who have been peaceful in the most part. 

The CONAIE, in a communique, condemned the aggression against reporter Freddy Paredes by a group of protesters, saying that it happened outside the protests and did not reflect the views of the group.

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