NewsWorldViolence outside Parliament on 11th day of indigenous protests...

Violence outside Parliament on 11th day of indigenous protests in Ecuador

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Published on: 06/24/2022 – 01:57 Tension is not abating in Ecuador, despite a gesture from the government which on Thursday opened the House of Culture in Quito to indigenous demonstrators who are mobilizing against the cost of living . In the evening, a group tried to enter the precincts of Parliament before being dispersed by the police. Police on Thursday (June 23) dispersed demonstrators who were trying to invade Parliament in Quito, on the eleventh day of indigenous protests against the cost of living which continue to grow in Ecuador. Shouting with joy, several thousand indigenous first entered in the afternoon in the House of Culture (CCE) in Quito, requisitioned for several days by the police, noted AFP. This cultural center traditionally serves as a meeting point for indigenous people in the capital and its free access represented one of the conditions for the demonstrators to start negotiations. “It’s a victory of the struggle!”, greeted megaphone in hand the indigenous leader Leonidas Iza, leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the largest indigenous organization in the country. The government finally authorized the demonstrators to invest this symbolic place, “in the interest of dialogue and peace”, has said the Minister of Government, Francisco Jiménez, in a video transmitted to the media. The “objective is to end the blockades of streets, violent demonstrations and attacks in different places”, added the minister, while the head of state Guillermo Lasso, diagnosed Wednesday positive for Covid-19, is forced to isolation. “Bad sign”? Objective obviously missed, since shortly after, an imposing group of demonstrators, led by women, tried to enter the enclosure of the neighboring Parliament. The police deployed on the spot prevented them by using tear gas and stun grenades. The marchers responded with violence by throwing stones, fireworks and molotov cocktails. The crowd then retreated to a nearby park. Protest leader Leonidas Iza, who was there, said “this is a very bad sign as we asked our base to march peacefully. “During the 2019 protests, demonstrators stormed the seat of government and briefly invaded Parliament, set fire to the Finance Inspectorate building and attacked the premises of two media outlets. The natives had then blamed “infiltrators”. Nearly 14,000 demonstrators are mobilized throughout the country to protest against the rising cost of living and demand in particular a drop in fuel prices according to the police, who estimates their number at nearly 10,000 in the capital Quito. Prior to any negotiation, Conaie also demands the repeal of the state of emergency in force in six of the 24 provinces and in the capital, supported by a major deployment security and a night curfew. The government rejects this demand and assures that the protesters’ demands, just on fuel, would cost the state more than a billion dollars a year. The conservative president, in power for a year, sees in this revolt an attempt to to spill. Between 1997 and 2005, three Ecuadorian presidents had to leave power under pressure from the indigenous people. The demonstrations have left three dead, 92 injured and 94 people arrested since the start of the crisis, according to a report Thursday from the Alliance human rights organizations. With AFP

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