NewsWorldIn Ecuador, the standoff continues between Guillermo Lasso and...

In Ecuador, the standoff continues between Guillermo Lasso and the demonstrators

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Published on: 06/30/2022 – 04:02 Several hundred indigenous demonstrators marched on Wednesday in Quito to demand the resumption of negotiations suspended the day before by President Guillermo Lasso. He refuses to discuss “with a gun to his head”. As the mobilization enters its seventeenth day, Wednesday June 29, the prospect of an immediate end to the crisis is receding in Ecuador, the government of Guillermo Lasso refusing to negotiate “with a gun to its head”. A few thousand natives marched in the streets of downtown Quito, as well as around the presidency, in the historic district of the capital, to demand “the resumption of negotiations”. In more or less small groups, and without notable incident, the demonstrators surveyed avenues and crossroads of the sector, in the vicinity of the Parliament and around the Ecuadorian Cultural Center (CCE), a vast indigenous cultural center which serves as their headquarters and base. of life. “We are here to resist (…), we will stay as long as the government does not give us an answer”, stormed Isak, 28, disguised as Captain America, starry shield included. “We are poor, we are hungry, we have nothing to lose.” “We don’t want ten cents (referring to the drop in fuel prices announced by the government), we want results!” colorful crowd. In the narrow streets of the historic center flown over by a helicopter, all the traders hastened to lower their curtains as the procession approached. Since the beginning of the protest on June 13, the surroundings of the Palais Carondelet, the presidency, have been fortified behind heavy iron gates and police cordons. Suspended negotiations The day before, the conservative president Guillermo Lasso suspended the dialogue initiated with representatives natives, including Leonidas Iza, head of the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie, spearhead of the protests), after an attack in the Amazon during which a soldier was killed. Guillermo Lasso set a condition for a resumption of discussions the presence of “legitimate representatives” of the natives “open to a real and frank dialogue”. “We are ready to listen, to dialogue, but we will not do it with a gun to our head”, added Wednesday Government Affairs, Francisco Jimenez. “They cannot continue the attacks on the population, block the roads, try to create chaos in the country”, accused the minister on a local media, judging however the last demonstrations “much smaller”. , Leonidas Iza seemed to adopt a more conciliatory posture: “All marches and mobilizations must take place calmly. Let us no longer use excuses for not wanting to dialogue”, he pleaded in the night, shortly after assured “leave the door open” to a resumption of dialogue.>> Read also on France 24: PORTRAIT – Leonidas Iza, the indigenous leader who challenges power in EcuadorThe state of emergency decreed in four provincesSix people, five demonstrators and a soldier, have been killed since the protests began. More than 600 people, civilians or members of the security forces, were injured, with some 150 arrests, according to observers. The capital, where thousands of indigenous demonstrators are gathered, out of the 14,000 in the whole country according to the police, is at the heart of the mobilization. Some small pro-government counter-demonstrations are also taking place there, in vehicles, in the northern and affluent part of the city, spared by the demonstrations. a week earlier in six of the 24 provinces. On Wednesday, he decreed it again in four provinces outside the capital, in the Andean part (Azuay, Imbabura) and in the Amazon (Sucumbios and Orellana). This thirty-day measure, also providing for a curfew, was taken after “violent actions that disturbed public order”, and aims to guarantee public safety and the supply of these provinces with basic necessities. natives of Cotopaxi, about fifty kilometers south of the capital, promised for Thursday a “massive mobilization” in Quito, where the indigenous presence seems to have reduced in recent days. With AFP

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