Riots return to streets of Ecuador’s capital despite previously imposed curfew (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Live footage from RT’s video agency Ruptly shows groups of protesters gather opposite police lines, many of them clutching improvised shields. Some even organized tortoise formations, using boards to try and deflect tear gas grenades and rubber bullets.
Manifestantes en Quito se protegen de las balas de goma y los gases lacrimógenosAsí está Quito tras las duras protestas por las medidas de Lenín Moreno: https://t.co/ss3ssFTrm2pic.twitter.com/chk2XvhMMj— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) October 13, 2019
Shots and explosions could be heard ringing in the air, as thick smoke clouded the scene.
El Arbolito Park, which is not far from the National Assembly previously stormed by protesters, has become the epicenter of the protest, with people from different towns and villages streaming there to set up a protest camp.
Around 500 protesters violated the police cordons and set fire to the Comptroller's Office, the Interior Ministry said. The building had already been seen burning during rioting on Saturday.
The protesters are demanding that President Moreno roll back his sweeping austerity policies, introduced as part of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package.Also on rt.com US-oriented IMF & its austerity package guilty of chaos in Ecuador – ex-Central Bank official to RT
Responding to the influx of angry protesters into the capital, many of whom wreaked havoc on government buildings and clashed with police during nearly two weeks of unrest, Moreno on Saturday imposed a curfew, put Quito under military control and announced a 24-hour restriction on all movement in the country.
The president, whose government has already evacuated the capital for the safety of the city of Guayaquil, also told Quito's mayor he’ll “reconsider” the cancellation of fuel subsidies, a measure which proved to be especially harmful to the population.
The military on Sunday announced that it was lifting the curfew in most of the city, with restricted movement only in some parts of the northern district.
It also vowed to ensure the safety of indigenous protest leaders from the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) during the first round of talks with the government, which had been scheduled to take place later on Sunday. The negotiations were agreed after ten days of unrest in the capital.
Seven people have been killed and over 1,300 wounded since the protests broke out on October 3, according to public ombudsman's office. The police have arrested over 1,150 demonstrators.
Ahead of the talks, CONAIE said on Twitter that the president should fully reinstate the fuel subsidies or the protests in Quito and elsewhere in the country will continue.
The protest leaders also demanded that the talks be transparent, saying that they’ll be broadcast live on huge screens so that the whole country could see what’s going on.
Austerity measures were introduced by Moreno in order to meet the conditions of a $4.2 billion loan deal with the IMF. The cancellation of fuel subsidies then led to a huge spike in gasoline and diesel prices in Ecuador.Also on rt.com Chaos in Ecuador as protesters ransack govt buildings, clash with police as military restricts movement throughout country
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