After more than 10 days of protests, President Lenin Moreno repealed the decree that removed the gasoline subsidies .
Indigenous people in protest days in Ecuador. / Photo: REUTERS
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez
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Leer en español: Ecuador: indígenas logran derogar el decreto de gasolina
The indigenous communities raised their voice against the government and after days of chaos in the main cities of Ecuador, especially in Quito, they succeeded in having President Moreno repeal the decree against which they fought.
En las próximas horas derogaré el Decreto 883. Hemos hecho una elección por la paz.— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) 14 de octubre de 2019
Se expedirá un nuevo decreto que nos asegure que los recursos lleguen a quienes realmente los necesitan.
After a weekend of crisis in which the streets of Quito became a fighting ground, where indigenous and other protesters clashed with the police, President Moreno managed to get indigenous movements to meet to talk, because they had said they would not.
Before the indigenous groups agreed to speak with the government, last Wednesday they had headed from different areas of the country to the Ecuadorian capital to demonstrate against the rise in gasoline. This decision had been taken days ago and since then, Ecuador had been immersed in a struggle of various sectors of the country against the government.
Read also: How is the crisis in Ecuador going?
Days of protest in Ecuador
The Ecuadorian government decided to launch a decree in which the gasoline subsides would disappear, which meant an increase of approximately double per gallon. The decision that would come into operation in the country directly affected the transporters' guild, but they were not the only ones to show their disagreements.
At first, it was the transporters who called for a National strike to make Lenin Moreno remove the recently issued decree. In response, the president decreed the state of exception, which sought to restore order and security in the country. At the time, Moreno had announced that he would not talk with the transporters and they said they would not raise the strike until the government gave in.
Una solución para la paz y para el país: el Gobierno sustituirá el decreto 883 por uno nuevo que contenga mecanismos para focalizar los recursos en quienes más los necesitan. ¡Se recobra la paz y se detienen el golpe correísta y la impunidad! #DialogarEsElCaminoEC pic.twitter.com/QfeUJpUcMk— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) 14 de octubre de 2019
However, a few days later the transporters raised the strike stating that they had already announced their disagreements and had no more to do. Not content with this, peasants and indigenous groups continued their own protests.
The indigenous movements affirmed that they declared their own state of exception and moved from different places of the country to the capital to demonstrate. They were not willing to dialogue with the government, but instead sought to set a massive precedent to which they invited the entire population.
The last attempt at dialogue
After having refused to engage in dialogue with the transporters and affirming that he would not change his decision, it was the president who called to sit down and discuss the indigenous movements. Despite repeatedly refusing, the situation on the streets on Saturday, October 12, got out of control. Tire burning, confrontations with the police, arrests and injuries led to Quito having a curfew.
According to the BBC, "the Office of the Ombudsman reported that there were at least 5 dead, 554 injured and 929 arrested in the protests, although from the government they reduced the death toll to two."
Finally, the indigenous groups agreed to dialogue with Moreno.
The call was made through the president's Twitter account, where he said that both sides should put an end to the differences and make the violence end. In response, the indigenous community said that the only way they would talk to the government would be once the decree was repealed. In addition, among the demands of the moment, the Ecuadorian people took the opportunity to demand the departure of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
On Monday, October 14, the government confirmed that based on the dialogue with indigenous communities, it was decided that the decree would be repealed. For which, the coordinator of the United Nations in Ecuador, Arnaud Peral, announced that a new decree must be created, which leaves without effect the one that removes the gasoline subsidy.
President Lenín Moreno has said that the reason for this disagreement is due to the weak economy left by his predecessor, Rafael Correa. For his part, Correa said Moreno "is unbalanced" and asked to call early elections.