Ecuador: A curfew and the people still resist
On the tenth day of the National Strike in Ecuador, the mobilizations intensified across the country, and especially in Quito, against the rise in fuel prices and the repression unleashed by the police and army against the indigenous movement, while the government responds with more repression and the introduction of a curfew.
On the morning of Saturday, October 12, the neighborhoods and residents of Quito massively joined the strike, paralyzing traffic in their localities and mobilizing from their places of residence to the district of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, where thousands of indigenous people are gathered since Monday, October 7.
The mobilizations are aimed at rejecting the harsh repression that has so far left 6 people dead, 937 injured and 1121 arrested, according to the Ombudsman's Office of Ecuador. Among the dead are the indigenous leader of Cotopaxi, Inocencio Tucumbi, the youth Raúl Chilpe, Marco Oto, José Daniel Chaluisa Cusco and José Rodrigo Chaluisa. Among the seriously wounded, Juan Alvaro Olovacha is struggling between life and death, and remains in an intensive care unit.
The people in Quito are protesting also against the package of economic measures contained in Decree 883 that the government of Lenín Moreno has imposed in the framework of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which includes the price increase of “extra” gasoline, the most used by the population, and diesel, which is used for the production and transportation of basic necessities. The Minister of the Economy, Richard Martinez, a representative of the business chambers who is the mentor of the agreement with the IMF, informed that the liberalization of fuel prices also implies that the State will cease to be in charge of importing and commercializing them, which will be handed over to private companies.
In response to the resounding popular mobilization, President Moreno decreed this October 12, at 14h20, the curfew and the militarization of the Metropolitan District of Quito and the surrounding valleys, effective from 15h00, which meant that no one would be able mobilize in the streets, and the military could arrest demonstrators who fail to comply with this provision. However, the native people and city dwellers continued to take some of the streets in Quito, defying the curfew. Faced with the curfew, the Quiteños (inhabitants of Quito), during the evening, staged a “cacerolazo” (banging pots and pans outside their homes) that resounded loudly throughout the city.