State of Emergency Declared in Ecuador Amid Riots

State of Emergency Declared in Ecuador Amid Riots

STATE OF EMERGENCY Declared Amid Violent Riots

( – Ecuadorian officials were forced to take action in response to increasingly violent protests across multiple locations this week. Members of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) first began marching against the federal government on June 12; they eventually entered Quito, the nation’s capital, on June 20. President Guillermo Lasso quickly responded by extending a pre-existing state of emergency in a bid to regain control.

Lasso first took action against the protests over the weekend, enacting a state of emergency in Pichincha, Cotopaxi, and Imbabura provinces. He then activated a curfew in Quito on the same day demonstrators arrived. A short time later, the president chose to expand the pre-existing state of emergency to all six Ecuadorian provinces.

In a televised national address, Lasso said that a violent few cannot continue to interrupt the lives of citizens. He also indicated that the restrictions would help protect citizens while allowing peaceful demonstrations.

Reports suggest that the massive group of protestors, many of whom were armed, blocked highways and engaged in violence as they marched toward the capital city. Road closures left many citizens unable to get to work while also slowing or halting local supply chains, leaving stores unstaffed and many shelves empty.

CONAIE is demanding the federal government take action on several key issues, the first of which is a fuel price reduction. The group is also calling for Lasso to be removed from power and for the government to establish price controls on food. They have also asked for personal loan renegotiations for millions of citizens.

Notably, CONAIE has forced out at least three other presidents in the past. The group continues to heavily influence Ecuadorian politics. The US State Department recently raised the travel advisory level for Ecuador to Level 3 on June 22 due to the unrest.

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