Negotiations brokered by the UN kicked off as the country’s capital Quito began to resemble a war zone after protests and clashes with police. President Lenin Moreno even left the capital for a short time, moving the government as protesters ransacked administrative buildings.
The parties agreed to create a commission to develop a new decree repealing the one that led to the discontent.
President Moreno said that the agreement included “sacrifices from each of the parties.”
The president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Jaime Vargas, said that anti-government mobilizations would be lifted throughout the territory. However, he criticized the police and the military for their actions against the demonstrators, which he described as a “violation of human rights” and called for the removal of the interior and defense ministers. He claimed that more than 10 people were killed and some 2,000 injured during the riots.
The president’s private secretary, Juan Sebastian Roldan, defended the actions of law enforcers, saying that they had done their duty and “are celebrating tranquility today.”
There was an influx of protesters from all over the country to Quito when the government announced a set of sweeping austerity policies, introduced as part of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package. Most of all people were angry at the decree canceling fuel subsidies, which caused prices to skyrocket.
Over 11 days, riots rocked the capital with protesters making barricades, burning tires and storming government buildings. Law enforcers used tear gas, military equipment and even mounted officers to push back the protesters. A curfew was introduced on several occasions.
Seven people have been killed and over 1,300 wounded since the protests broke out on October 3, according to public ombudsman’s office. The police have arrested over 1,150 demonstrators.