Democracy Now

Indigenous-Led Anti-Austerity Protests Shut Down Quito Forcing Ecuadorian Government to Move Capital

Tens of thousands of people, led by indigenous leaders, are expected to again bring Ecuador to a standstill today in massive ongoing anti-government protests. Demonstrators flooded the streets of Quito Tuesday to decry government-imposed austerity measures and a steep hike in fuel prices, despite a severe police crackdown. Civil unrest has been growing since President Lenín Moreno ended a decades-old fuel subsidy program last week as part of a so-called reform plan imposed by the International Monetary Fund after Ecuador took a $4.2 billion loan from the IMF earlier this year. Hundreds of people have been arrested as the government cracks down on protesters and the media. Tuesday’s mass demonstrations come one day after Moreno said he was temporarily moving government operations from Quito to the southern city of Guayaquil. We go to Quito to speak with David Cordero Heredia, a law professor at Pontifical Catholic University. He is one of the lawyers representing protesters who have been detained in this latest round of protests.

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