A man has been killed in the Ecuadorian capital and dozens injured during the 12th day of protests led by indigenous peoples demanding that the government cut fuel prices, control food prices and spend more on education
QUITO, Ecuador — A man was killed and dozens more injured on Thursday during the 12th day of protests led by indigenous peoples demanding that the Ecuadorian government reduce fuel prices, control food prices and spend more on education.
After days of escalating violence, protests have been clashed with military and riot police in Quito and other towns across the Andean country.
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, which organized the nationwide strike, said a protester died of gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen while demonstrating near the National Assembly.
Authorities acknowledged there had been one death and Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said he was “appalled”. He said the government had not provided any pellet guns to police personnel and on Thursday they were only carrying gas to disperse protesters.
Christian Rivera, a volunteer paramedic, told The Associated about 100 people were treated at the site, including protesters, soldiers and police.
The protests are part of a nationwide strike that the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities began on June 14 to demand that gas prices be cut by 45 cents a gallon to $2.10, price controls be put on agricultural products and that a larger budget be adopted for education. Demonstrations were particularly violent in six north-central provinces of Ecuador.
Indigenous leader Leonidas Iza on Tuesday demanded that the government lift the state of emergency in those provinces and remove the military and police presence around places where protesters gathered in Quito. But the government rejected the demands on Wednesday, saying meeting them would leave “the capital defenceless”.
Quito is experiencing food and fuel shortages due to protester roadblocks and other disruptions from the unrest.