A man was killed in Ecuador’s capital and dozens were injured during the 12th day of indigenous-led protests demanding the government cut fuel prices, control food prices and spend more on education.
Quito, Ecuador — One man was killed and dozens injured on Thursday during the 12th day of indigenous-led protests demanding the Ecuadorian government cut fuel prices, control food prices and spend more on education.
After several days of escalating violence, demonstrations clashed with soldiers and riot police in Quito and other cities in the Andean country.
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, which organized the national strike, said a protester died of gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen while protesting near the National Assembly.
Authorities acknowledged that there had been one death, and Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said he was “dismayed”. He said the government had not provided the police with any lead weapons and that on Thursday they were carrying only gas to disperse the protesters.
Christian Rivera, a volunteer paramedic, told The Associated that about 100 people were treated at the scene, including protesters, soldiers and police.
The demonstrations are part of a nationwide strike that the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities started on June 14 to demand that gasoline prices be reduced by 45 cents a gallon to $2.10, agricultural product price controls and that a budget greater be adopted for education. Protests were especially violent in six provinces in north-central Ecuador.
Indigenous leader Leonidas Iza demanded on Tuesday that the government lift the state of emergency in those provinces and remove the military and police presence around the places where protesters gathered in Quito. But the government rejected the demands on Wednesday, saying complying with them would leave “the capital defenseless”.
Quito is facing food and fuel shortages because of roadblocks by protesters and other disruptions to the unrest.