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Ecuadorian government, indigenous groups reach deal to end protests

Talks suspended Tuesday after soldier was killed during unrest

Laura Gamba   | 01.07.2022
Ecuadorian government, indigenous groups reach deal to end protests

BOGOTA, Colombia

The Ecuadorian government and indigenous peoples agreed to end more than two weeks of protests Thursday, the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador announced during a news conference.

On the 18th day of demonstrations called by the indigenous movement, the sides managed to reach an agreement on fuel prices -- a main sticking point for the protests.

Indigenous organizations declared “the end of the mobilizations and the gradual return to the territories as well as the suspension of all acts that could affect peace and public order," said Secretary-General of the Episcopal Conference, Monsignor David de la Torre.

The government agreed to reduce the price of fuel by another $0.05 cents per gallon after a previous reduction of $0.10 cents President Guillermo Lasso announced.

Lasso´s government had been trying to negotiate a solution to the social upheaval that began June 13 and has resulted in the deaths of nine people. Indigenous groups were demanding lower food and fuel prices, among other concessions.

Two days before the announcement, the government said it would not engage in dialogue after a military officer was killed in a confrontation with demonstrators in the Amazonian town of Shushufindi.

The president questioned the true intentions of the leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, Leonidas Iza.

"We will not negotiate with those who hold Ecuador hostage," Lasso said in an address to the nation Tuesday, accusing Iza of defending his interests and not those of indigenous people.​​​​​​​

The government said Wednesday it would restart talks with mediation from the Catholic Church.

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