Thousands of Ecuadorian demonstrators on Tuesday, for an hour, occupied the headquarters of the National Assembly in Quito and demanded the departure from power of President Lenín Moreno, as part of an escalation of protest government’s economic adjustments and the credit agreement with the IMF.
At the cry of «Out Moreno, out!» the demonstrators staged heavy clashes with police and military personnel guarding the compound, in the face of the imminent arrival of the protest.
Protesters are calling for the repeal of an executive decree issued by President Moreno a week ago, eliminating subsidies (state aid) that for decades allowed the cost of fuel to be lowered.
The protesters, led by the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie), broke the various security fences and penetrated the exteriors of the legislative building.
The event came amid an intense struggle, in which law enforcement used abundant tear gas to try to disperse the protest that, according to several leaders, could direct their action to the Government Palace.
The headquarters of the Legislative, located in the north-central part of the city, was protected by several metal security fences that prevented the passage to the building.
The demonstrators, by force of stones and protected against discharges of tear gas, have been able to remove the security fences and reach the door that leads inside the parliamentary headquarters.
In the frontispiece of the building, hundreds of people, carrying tricolor flags (yellow, blue and red) of the country and the multicolored ones that identify the Indigenous Movement, have flamed in a sign of victory, while a group of leaders directed a pronouncement.
In the end, the demonstrators have left the site and led to thicken other protest marches in the central streets of Quito to try to reach the Government Palace, in the historic center of the city, also heavily guarded by police and military.
Heavy clashes were also recorded in the central Plaza del Teatro, a few blocks from the Government Palace, walled with metal fences up to about four blocks around.
Some political leaders have warned of the possibility of an attempt to occupy the government’s headquarters earlier this afternoon, an announcement that has not been officially confirmed by the Conaie, although in the morning all public buildings in the commercial area of Quito were evacuated in fear sought to take possession of these enclosures.
And amid the atmosphere of chaos, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that it has raided the facilities of radio Station Pichincha Universal, «to gather information on the alleged crime of incitement to discord among citizens».
This broadcaster has made a continuous transmission of the events since the demonstrations began last Thursday and many identify it as a «correist» radio, for defending the position of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017).
President Moreno, Correa’s staunch rival, has blamed his predecessor for being behind what he called a «coup attempt» against him and allegedly manipulating the indigenous protest.
Moreno, faced with the impressive arrival of indigenous people stoicing the capital, even moved the Executive to the coastal city of Guayaquil, considered a stronghold of right-wing groups, but which has also been the scene of popular demonstrations.
On her side, the Conaie has clarified, through its leaders, that they are not with Correa, but that they demand of Moreno the repeal of the decree that raises the price of gasoline.
The Unitarian Front of Workers (FUT), Ecuador’s most important worker’s power house, which has called for a national strike tomorrow Wednesday, which will be concentrated with a massive concentration in Quito, alongside the Conaie.
Union leaders have also called for the archive of labour and tax reforms that are demanded by the IMF under the credit agreement signed last March for $4.2 billion.