PHOTOS: Violent protests in Ecuador over fuel price hike
Protesters in Ecuador threw projectiles at riot police Wednesday in a second day of violent protests over a fuel price hike ordered by the government to secure an IMF loan. The violence broke out as thousands of people representing indigenous groups, farmers and labor unions marched on a square in downtown Quito near the government headquarters.
After clashes broke out in the area Tuesday, the government of President Lenin Moreno posted security forces there to keep the march from reaching the plaza. Protesters on Wednesday broke off from the main procession and hurled rocks at riot police, who fought back with volleys of tear gas.
The protesters are demanding that Moreno reinstate fuel subsidies that were rescinded after $4.2 billion in loans were agreed with the International Monetary Fund. His government has held talks with protest groups but the march proceeded anyway.
On Tuesday, clashes between security forces and protesters broke out near Congress and demonstrators — many of them indigenous men armed with sticks and whips — surged through a security cordon and into the building. They rushed into the meeting room and occupied the podium, but were soon evicted by security forces.
Moreno subsequently ordered an overnight curfew to protect public buildings. He declared a state of emergency over the nationwide protests last week. The demonstrations broke out after increases of up to 120 percent in fuel prices came into force on October 3.
They have so far left one civilian dead and 77 people injured, the majority of them security forces, the government said. A total of 477 people have been detained. (AFP)
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