This is the continuing coverage of the unfolding SHTF situation in Ecuador being reported by an American Partisan reader and expat living in the nation. Previously I had been helping him remotely to build up the local Red Cross chapter off-grid communications, which was left in shambles from neglect and no serious attitude towards them amid more convenient methods. And now here they are, with periodic outages just in the beginning phases of what looks like a long term bad situation playing out.
Expat ‘Fred’ has collected a series of news articles covering the incidents in real time. Here’s what he sends:
President of Ecuador shows willingness to talk with indigenous people
The indigenous people joined the protests against the elimination of the fuel subsidy decreed by Moreno and have threatened to “submit indigenous justice” to policemen who approach their territories.
The president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, expressed this Sunday (06.10.2019) his willingness to dialogue with the indigenous sector, at a time when the fourth day of demonstrations against the increase in fuel prices is met.
In a short televised message to the nation, the ruler said that he is determined to change the country, to punish those who have stolen and to control prices and punish speculators.
“But I am also always determined to talk, to reach out to decent people, to honest people who really want to change the country, I am determined to talk with you indigenous brothers,” he said.
“Let’s talk about how to use the country’s resources for the needy,” he added, while asking the general population not to lend “to take advantage of those who seek chaos.”
Moreno issued the statements at a time when the indigenous people protest in different provinces of the country , where they have blocked roads that the military cleared protected in a state of exception decreed on Thursday.
This Sunday, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), Jaime Vargas, said that the possibilities for dialogue with the Government are “closed.”
This Sunday, the Conaie also threatened the security forces. “Military and police who approach indigenous territories will be held and subjected to indigenous justice (recognized by the Constitution),” he said in a statement.
Aboriginal communities plan to march on Monday to Quito to reject the rise in fuels and the exploitation of natural resources in their territories.
The “ditch revolution” intensifies protests in Ecuador against the ‘package’ of Lenin Moreno
Large marches and rallies, clashes with the police and military, and road blockades, remain in Ecuador this Monday, on the fifth day of popular demonstrations.
A part of the protesters have baptized these demonstrations as the “ditch revolution”, in response to the president himself, who last Friday, a day after the protests began, insisted that he will not give his arm to twist by the measures economic announced. “The ditching is over,” he emphasized .
The protests continue despite the fact that the state of exception governs in the country, decreed by Moreno on the same day that the popular mobilizations began, which increased the number of troops in the streets. According to Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrín, 24,000 soldiers and 5,000 reservists have been arranged to guarantee order; In addition to the cops.
Thousands enter Quito
At the end of the afternoon of this Monday, thousands of people, grouped in the indigenous movements of the Sierra region of the country, entered Quito, through the south of the city, and headed to the center.
This group is the first contingent that responds to the call of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), which called for a general strike, with concentration in Quito, for next Wednesday, October 9.
? # ATTENTION | Mobilization of the indigenous communities of the Sierra advances through the south of #Quito , in the Villaflora sector. With trucks and vans full of citizens the caravan goes quickly down Maldonado Avenue. #ParoNacionalEcuador pic.twitter.com/TYMBvF5Hvj– Pichincha Universal (@pichinchauniver)October 8, 2019
The marchers raided military and police blockades. The uniformed men formed mountains of sand on the road and threw tear gas to those who intended to challenge them; but then cleared the way.
From other parts of the country, they also mobilize to join those who from this Monday will express their dissatisfaction with the central authorities.
On Monday afternoon a group of journalists and officials were evicted by soldiers from the Presidential Palace of Carondelet, in Quito, before the arrival of protesters. There, President Moreno planned to give a press conference.
As reported by the press workers through their social networks, after being evacuated they were in the middle of a security operation that included fences and barbed wires, preventing them from leaving the streets surrounding Carondelet.
#EnEsteMomento #URGENTE journalists are on the street, near the Government Palace. Military evicted the Presidency because there are demonstrations approaching. At this time, journalists do not have any security to leave @eluniversocom pic.twitter.com/grctULQEfu– Gladys Rivadeneira (@GYRivadeneira)October 7, 2019
Quito has become a battleground between uniformed men and protesters these days, trying to reach the Historic Center, where the Carondelet Palace, seat of the Presidency, whose surroundings have been reinforced with fences, wires and tanks. armored
This Monday, a demonstration that started from the El Ejido park, to the north center of the city, saw its gait by the uniformed people hampered. Police and military blocked the way. Then they threw tear gas and began an onslaught with tanks and horses against the citizens.
Chile?No … El Ejido, Quito, Ecuador!I don’t know if I exaggerate, but I never saw anything like it here? pic.twitter.com/RsPp8fdoAi– Fabricio Vela (@fabriciovelav)October 7, 2019
Earlier, the same group, which responded with stones to the troops, received a major shower of tear gas.
At that time, the protesters had made progress to the headquarters of the Central Bank of Ecuador (ECB).
Tear pumps and pellets against protesters in QuitoTwo demonstrations that were intended to arrive Monday at the Historic Center of Quito, in Ecuador, were dispersed with tear gas and pellets by police and military personnel. pic.twitter.com/KbpAQFIyno– RT in Spanish (@ActualidadRT)October 7, 2019
An RT team covered one of the mobilizations and was affected by the gases launched by the military and police.
The Spanish RT team is affected by tear gas launched by officers during a march in Quito, Ecuador, which became violent– RT in Spanish (@ActualidadRT)October 7, 2019
Meanwhile, another demonstration was repressed in San Francisco square, on the south side of Carondelet.
In Quito there was also a demonstration of drivers of school and institutional cars, which went to the Ministry of Transportation, in the north center of the city, to request the repeal of the measure of the rise in fuels.
The saw in motion
In the Sierra region, from north to south, there are demonstrations in nine of the 10 provinces that comprise it: Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Bolívar, Cañar, Azuay and Loja; The only entity without protests this Monday is Carchi.
From several of these provinces they have answered the call of CONAIE. “Our peoples and nationalities are mobilizing, advancing to the city of Quito to be able to demand or reject these economic measures that run over the pockets of all Ecuadorians ,” Jaime Vargas, president of CONAIE, told reporters.
At a press conference @jaimevargasnae president of CONAIE and the National Collective of Workers, Indigenous and Popular Social Organizations ratify arrival in Quito of the indigenous movement and indefinite actions until repeal of decree 883. #SomosCONAIE pic.twitter.com/vDWw5MWsNj
The leader said they estimate that more than 20,000 people , from the indigenous movement alone, will arrive in the Ecuadorian capital on Wednesday.
In Imbabura, a large group of people concentrated this morning in the Cotacachi sector, where they blocked the road and gathered to begin their march to Quito.
In this same province, the afternoon and evening of last Sunday, a contingent of soldiers and police strongly repressed those who demonstrated against the Government in the rural town of La Esperanza. The results of this operation are unknown.
From Cotopaxi, about 90 kilometers from Quito, hundreds of people, who are grouped in the Cotopaxi Indigenous and Peasant Movement (MICC), began their march to the capital city to join the strike.
Indigenous communities of @Micc_Ec , the peaceful march towards #Quito continues , the #Paquetazo will fall and we will tell it outside #FMI of Ecuador.
The Tungurahua Indigenous Movement (MIT) concentrated on Ambato and from there they started the march to Quito. They hope to join the dealers of Cotopaxi, a few kilometers further north.
In addition, another group took the Pilisurco hill, where the national and local radio and television repeater antennas are located, before the dissatisfaction with the lack of information in the media, which can be subject to prior censorship by the Government due to the state of exception. Protesters cut the signals to various locations.
In this province, there were road closures at several points. In addition, from the rural parishes they marched to Riobamba, capital of the entity, and concentrated around the seat of the governorate.
However, what generated the most news was the retention of a contingent of military and police by demonstrators in the town of Nizag.
At this time, they have been rescued, by air, part of the group of 56 soldiers who were in the community of Nizag, Chimborazo.We still have to rescue about 20 more soldiers who are waiting for the helicopter to return. @ TMT30_ @Marietareina pic.twitter.com/wl3YGPj2pf– Giselle Cevallos (@GisCevallos)October 7, 2019
After a negotiation, the uniformed men were delivered and rescued by helicopter.
In this entity, the protesters, mostly from the indigenous movement, took the seat of the government to express their discomfort in the face of government measures.
Indigenous communities and citizens of the province of Bolivar take over the facilities of the Government in Guaranda.
In Cuenca, the Azuaya capital, where last week there was repression by law enforcement, the demonstrations are led mainly by students , who have mobilized in the historic center of the city.
In Cañar and Loja there have been road cuts and mobilizations to the headquarters of the governorates.
The Amazon, to the east of the country, is also in mobilization. There are protests in five of the six provinces that make up this region: Sucumbíos, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza and Morona Santiago.
According to CONAIE, much of the Amazonian Trunk, the main means of communication in that region and one of the most important in the country, has been blocked by protesters, mainly by community members of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE).
The northern Amazon sign in the Paro. In Orellana Dayuma raised and Coca paralyzed on the bridge of the Payamino River. Sucumbíos joins the strike with blocking of roads in Cascales by the Cofanes and Kichwas. Today 6 organizations decided to join the strike with more force #ElParoNoPara pic.twitter.com/UmLIBaXX10– CONFENIAE (@ confeniae1)October 7, 2019
Other secondary roads in this region were also blocked. In the capital cities, such as Puyo and Francisco de Orellana, the discontented have moved to local government headquarters.
In Puyo, the protesters, who shouted “Come on Pastaza, Pastaza does not drown, damn!”, Were also widely repressed by the troops .
At the moment there is strong repression of protesters grouped in the Pastaza Governorate
Taxi drivers unemployed on the coast
In Guayaquil, the main city of the country, capital of the province of Guayas, this Monday there was a strike and caravan of taxi drivers through the main streets of the city.
In that entity, there were also cuts of roads and marches in the municipalities of El Triunfo, Balzar, Nobol, among others. In some places there was strong police repression .
Protesters mobilizing against economic measures reached the canton #ElTriunfo pic.twitter.com/j0eKkw1B0M– Diego Pinto (@ dpin1980)October 7, 2019
This scenario was repeated in Esmeraldas, capital city of the homonymous province, where taxi drivers took the streets.
Meanwhile, in Manta, capital of the province of Manabí, a great mobilization took the streets.
Measures and reforms
In addition to the increase in fuels, the government prepared a package of labor and tax reforms that will be sent to the National Assembly (Parliament) for approval.
All these measures have been taken in compliance with the agreement reached between Ecuador and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which lent the country more than 4,000 million dollars.