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  • People hold a placard reading 'No to the pack of measures. Rejection of neo-liberal economic measures' in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 4, 2019.

    People hold a placard reading 'No to the pack of measures. Rejection of neo-liberal economic measures' in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 4, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 October 2019

As a precaution for the consequences of the "State of Exception", Ecuadorean Ombudsman urged theConstitutional Court and Prosecutor Office to rule on what is going on.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno on Friday ratified that he will not back down on the elimination of fuel subsidies, the flexibilization of labor rules and other austerity measures which have prompted an ongoing indefinite nationwide strike.

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"When they become rulers, opponents will be able to execute their plans. At this moment I am the president, I make decisions and I do not shake my hand to do so," Moreno said during a press conference which ended with the warning "the madness is over."

Shortly before the presidential statements, Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin and Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo admitted that 350 citizens have been arrested for participating in demonstrations.

Among those arrested on Friday were 159 people in Guayaquil, which is the country's main port; 118 in Quito, the capital of Ecuador; and 54 in the provinces of Esmeraldas, Zucumbios, Carchi and Imbabura.

On Thursday night, peasant and indigenous organizations decided to massively join the national strike and support it in all the provinces where their perssonel are active.

On Friday morning, besides making the real magnitude of social protest invisible, the covers of the mainstream outlets highlighted that President Moreno had decreed a 60-day "state of exception."

According to this legal figure, the President may "either suspend or limit" rights related to inviolability of domicile, freedom of transit, freedom of association and assembly and freedom of information.

The government could also decree early tax collection, move its headquarters to any place, arrange for prior information censorship and implement other actions so as that "normality" be reestablished.

"Regarding the government's brutal repression in Ecuador, where is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bachelet??? Or will she shine for her absence given that it is not about Venezuela?"
The meme reads, "In Quito, a motorized policeman attacks and literally passes over a citizen who demonstrates against an economic package implemented by Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno."

As a precaution for the consequences of those Presidencial attributions, Ecuador's Ombudsman urged the Constitutional Court and the Prosecutor Office to rule on what is really going on at the country.

"We demand the immediate release of indigenous leaders Marlo Santi and Jairo Gualinga," the Ombudsman said, explaining that use of criminal law against social leaders is an unconstitutional act which cancels "the right to defend rights.”

"Institutions must be with the people. The declaration of State of Exception is unconstitutional," Santiago Bravo, a young citizen, commented too.

Until noon on Friday, the local independent media also reported the arrest of 4 transport union leaders and protests at the popular neighborhoods of the main cities.

There were no consolidated figures for the number of protesters who had been injured by the security forces.

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