Ecuador protests: Indigenous leaders agree to call off strikes

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Indigenous leaders in Ecuador have signed an agreement with the government to end more than two weeks of tense protests.

Demonstrators had been blocking roads and staging rallies to demand action on soaring fuel and food prices.

Some of the protests turned violent and at least six people are thought to have died in clashes with security forces.

As part of the deal, Ecuador’s government has agreed to lower the cost of fuel by 15 cents (12p) per gallon.

Since 2020, the cost of diesel has almost doubled and petrol prices have risen dramatically in the oil-producing nation.

The concession by the government amounts to half of what demonstrators had originally demanded, but according to Ecuador’s finance ministry it will cost the country $340m a year.

Government negotiators also agreed to consult with indigenous communities on future mining and oil developments and add other limits on their expansion.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso hailed the agreement on Twitter: “We have achieved the supreme value to which we all aspire: peace in our country,” he wrote.

Leonidas Iza, the leader of the powerful Conaie indigenous organization, said after signing the deal that protests would now be suspended. “We’re going to keep fighting,” he added, however.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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