- Title: Police held by Ecuador protesters say they are not captives
- Date: 10th October 2019
- Summary: QUITO, ECUADOR (OCTOBER 10, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS, POLICE OFFICERS THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF ECUADOR HAS SAID ARE BEING HELD CAPTIVE SEEN ON STAGE WITH INDIGENOUS PROTESTERS AT THE 'HOUSE OF CULTURE' POLICE OFFICERS ARE INVITED TO SAY THEY ARE NOT BEING HELD CAPTIVE (NOT A SOUNDBITE) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ECUADOREAN INDIGENOUS LEADER, LUIS IGUAMBA, SAYING: "Last night - we want to denounce this abuse of our children, our mothers, our wives who are staying at the Salesian Polytechnic University. And the police that are now detained, they are the ones who attacked, who launched (tear gas) bombs in that area, which put the lives of many of our brothers at risk. That's why our people, the indigenous people are so indignant. Now, more than ever, we're telling the government to revoke the decree (economic measures), without doing so there is no dialogue, because the blood of our brothers won't rest like this. If the decree is not revoked, our actions will in fact radicalize further." VARIOUS, PEOPLE PERFORMING CLEANSING RITUAL JOURNALISTS WHO THE GOVERNMENT OF ECUADOR HAS SAID ARE BEING HELD CAPTIVE ARE INVITED TO SAY THEY ARE NOT CAPTIVES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ECUADOREAN INDIGENOUS LEADER, LUIS IGUAMBA, SAYING: "The indigenous people will respect life, but much depends on the government. According to how the government reacts, the life of the police officers is at risk. Even though we respect (life), there is no lack of reasons because the people are very angry and this could lead to an escalation. That's why we're calling on the national government to immediately revoke the decree." VARIOUS, PROTESTERS OUTSIDE THE 'HOUSE OF CULTURE'
- Embargoed: 24th October 2019 21:41
- Keywords: held economic measures House of Culture Ecuador violence captive protests police Lenin Moreno
- Location: QUITO, ECUADOR
- City: QUITO, ECUADOR
- Country: Ecuador
- Topics: Government/Politics,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0IOLDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Indigenous leaders in Ecuador captured and publicly paraded eight police officers before a crowd on Thursday (October 10), pushing back against a tough government crackdown on anti-austerity protests that have shaken President Lenin Moreno's administration.
In an escalation of week-long demonstrations over Moreno's ending of fuel subsidies and loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), protesters detained the officers at a cultural center in Quito being used as an opposition base, Reuters witnesses said.
The eight officers were forced on stage in front of thousands of people. Looking scared, the officers were asked to take off their helmets, bullet proof vests and boots.
The action followed clashes with police during a nationwide strike on Wednesday (October 9) that killed at least one protester in the highland capital. The ombudsman's office is investigating reports of other fatalities.
The unrest in Ecuador is the latest flashpoint in Latin America over unpopular structural economic reforms.
Complaining about a lack of local media coverage of police violence, indigenous leaders asked TV journalists onto the stage and demanded that broadcasters show the scene live.
The protesters want Moreno to repeal austerity measures that his government passed in keeping with a $4.2 billion IMF loan. They also asked for the bodies of any dead protesters to be brought to the assembly.
The government responded by calling for the police officers to be freed as a condition for talks.
(Production: Alberto Fajardo, Cristina Munoz)
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