Thousands of Ecuadorians took to the streets on Tuesday on the ninth day of protests over fuel prices, while the military vowed to defend the country’s democracy from what it called a “serious threat”.
Called by the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Spanish: La Confederación de las Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana) (CONFENIAE), protesters barricaded roads across the country, costing the economy tens of millions of dollars while injuring dozens of people.
– Ecuadorian democracy is facing a serious threat due to coordinated actions … people who prevent the free movement of the majority of Ecuadorians – said the Minister of Defense Luis Lara at the press conference.
The armed forces, he warned, “will not allow attempts to violate the constitutional order or any action against democracy and the law of the Republic,” AFP reports.
Indigenous peoples make up more than a million of Ecuador’s 17.7 million inhabitants and have great political influence, but are disproportionately affected by rising inflation, unemployment and poverty exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.