- Title: Violent protests paralyze Guayaquil as unrest grows
- Date: 9th October 2019
- Summary: GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR (OCTOBER 09, 2019) (REUTERS) RUNNING SHOT OF PROTESTERS RUNNING TOWARDS POLICE WHO ARE FIRING TEAR GAS, TEAR GAS SMOKE BILLOWING PROTESTERS THROWING TEAR GAS CANISTERS BACK AT POLICE, POLICE WALKING TOWARDS PROTESTERS, FIRING MORE TEAR GAS GENERAL VIEW OF STREET, POLICE AT OTHER END TEAR GAS RISING FROM SEVERAL CANISTERS ON THE STREET, ANTI-RIOT POLICE PROTESTERS BEING CHASED BY POLICE RUNNING SHOT OF POLICE, BOTH ON FOOT AND ON MOTORCYCLES, GIVING CHASE MAN WALKING WITH ARMS HELD HIGH TO DEMONSTRATE HE IS UNARMED SOLDIERS ARGUING WITH GROUP OF PROTESTERS WHO ARE TRYING TO MARCH PEACEFULLY GROUP OF PROTESTERS HOLDING UP FLAG, CHANTING (Spanish) 'THE PEOPLE, UNITED, WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED' ANOTHER GROUP OF PROTESTERS CHANTING (Spanish) 'DEMOCRACY YES, DICTATORSHIP NO' PROTESTERS WITH SIGNS AND CHANTING (Spanish) 'THE PEOPLE, UNITED, WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED' PROTESTER KNEELING WITH ECUADOREAN FLAG WHILE OTHER PROTESTERS CHANT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER, SAYING: "We do not want your (referring to President Lenin Moreno) economic measures! We do not want you as our president! And all of those who are in favour of those measures are against the people." VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS IN ANTI-RIO GEAR GATHERING VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS CHANTING (Spanish) 'GET OUT LENIN, GET OUT LENIN' LINE OF SOLDIERS IN ANTI-RIOT GEAR IN FORMATION SOLDIER HOLDING SHIELD (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER, SAYING: "We want Lenin Moreno to leave power. We are the ones who govern. The police are the ones who are blocking the highway, not us. We are here peacefully. Get out of here!" GENERAL VIEW OF DOZENS OF DUMP TRUCKS LOADED UP WITH BOULDERS ON BRIDGE VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS CHECKING PASSERSBY WHO ARE CROSSING THE BRIDGE, FRISKING THEM AND LOOKING THROUGH THEIR BAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTFIED MAN, SAYING: "Some of the people just want to go to work. We just want to go to work. We have not been able to go to work for days now. Our families our hungry and all we want to do is go to work." GENERAL VIEW OF GROUP OF SOLDIERS HEADING TOWARDS LARGE GROUP OF PROTESTERS GENERAL VIEW OF POLICE ON MOTORCYCLES GENERAL VIEW OF CIVILIANS ON THEIR MOTORCYCLES AS WELL AS PEDESTRIANS STUCK ON BLOCKED BRIDGE VARIOUS OF MOUNTED POLICE WATCHING OVER QUEUE OF RESIDENTS WHO ARE TRYING TO CROSS THE BLOCKED BRIDGE
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2019 20:20
- Keywords: Ecuador protests fuel crisis President Lenin Moreno Guayaquil
- Location: GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR
- City: GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR
- Country: Ecuador
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0DO3EV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ecuadorean protesters held a national strike and clashed with security forces on Wednesday (October 09) after President Lenin Moreno refused to step down or overturn anti-austerity measures that have triggered the worst unrest in a decade.
Authorities clashed with protesters in Guayaquil during the shutdown, in Latin America's latest flare-up over unpopular structural reforms.
Security forces fired teargas to break up hundreds of protesters marching in Guayaquil and in Quito.
Violent demonstrations erupted in the Andean nation of 17 million people a week ago when Moreno cut fuel subsidies as part of a package of measures in line with a $4.2 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.
The main indigenous group CONAIE, which has mobilized some 6,000 members to Quito from outlying areas, said Moreno's government was behaving like a "military dictatorship" by declaring a state of emergency and setting an overnight curfew.
Protesters again barricaded roads with debris, while security forces themselves blocked a major bridge in the coastal city of Guayaquil to thwart demonstrations.
Moreno, 66, who succeeded leftist leader Rafael Correa in 2017, has relocated his government to Guayaquil where there has been less unrest than in Quito.
He stood by his economic measures and defied calls to quit.
For days, protesters have been marching and barricading roads with burning tires. Masked youths have hurled stones at security forces, who have responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Authorities have arrested nearly 700 people in a week of unrest, and dozens of police officers have been injured.
Oil Minister Carlos Perez said the OPEC member nation had lost 232,000 barrels of production from the unrest, worth more than $12.5 million, after protesters entered some fields.
Soldiers were helping state oil company Petroamazonas retake control of the important Sacha field, the ministry said, but half a dozen others remained closed.
The government is hoping the United Nations or Roman Catholic Church can help mediate the crisis.
Moreno has accused former friend, mentor and boss Correa of seeking a coup with the help of fellow socialist President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
Moreno had enthusiastically backed Correa during his decade-long rule, serving as his vice-president, but broke with him after winning election and moved economic policies to the right.
From Belgium where he lives, Correa has been applauding the demonstrators but scoffed at accusations of seeking a coup. Maduro, himself immersed in economic crisis in Venezuela, also denied involvement in Ecuador.
Moreno has support from the business elite and the military appears to remain loyal, but his popularity is less than half of what it was two years ago and Ecuadoreans are mindful that indigenous protests helped topple three presidents before Correa.
(Production: Herbert Villarraga)
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