People ran away from fire during protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures

The states of South America supported the government of Ecuador amid protests


South American states expressed support for the Ecuadorian government amid ongoing protests by the indigenous people of the republic.  This is stated in statements by the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR) and the Forum for the Development of South America (PROSUR), posted on Sunday on the website of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

“The MERCOSUR countries confirm their support for the democratically formed government of Ecuador and President Lenin Moreno and express hope for an early restoration of peace in the country,” the document says.  Both blocs also condemned “acts of violence and attempts to destabilize the country and its democratic structure”, calling on the parties to dialogue.  The composition of the two regional associations includes almost all countries of the continent, except for Bolivia, Venezuela and Suriname.

Last week, the head of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, signed a decree abolishing subsidies for diesel fuel and gasoline on October 3, after which their prices rose by more than 120%.  The country was swept by protests, which in a number of cities grew into riots.  In this situation, Moreno declared a state of emergency in the country.

On Saturday, the mayor of the country’s capital, Jorge Yunda Machado, said that Ecuador’s leadership agreed to meet the protesters and study the decree on the abolition of fuel subsidies.  Moreno later decided to impose a curfew in Quito and the surrounding area.

On Sunday evening, the parties began direct negotiations with the mediation of the local UN office and the Conference of Ecuadorian Catholic Bishops.

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