State Of Emergency In Ecuador Over Escalating Violence In Indigenous Protest


Quito, June 30 (IANS) Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso has declared a 30-day state of emergency in four provinces of Azuay, Imbabura, Sucumbios and Orellana, citing an escalation of violence in the ongoing indigenous protest.

This declaration was made after violence affected social order, with reserved areas attacked, safety of citizens undermined and medicine and food supplies stopped, Xinhua news agency quoted Lasso as saying in a decree which was issued late Wednesday night by the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency.

The Armed Forces and the National Police units will be deployed in the four provinces to maintain public security and social order.

Under the state of emergency, the exercise of the right to freedom of association and assembly will be restricted and a night curfew will be imposed from Wednesday.

In Orellana and Sucumbios, the entire area where the oilfields and oil-producing facilities are located has declared 'a security zone'.

This was the third time that the President had announced the state of emergency after the nationwide indefinite protest began on June 13.

The protest was called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the largest indigenous organization in the South American country.

It demands a list of economic and social concessions including a reduction in the price of diesel and gasoline by 40 cents.

So far, six deaths have been reported and 150 arrests have been made for various forms of violence, according to the National Police.

A total of 228 police officers were injured in clashes with protesters, and 11 police vehicles and 11 police stations were destroyed.




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