Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso Friday decreed a state of emergency in three provinces for the next 30 days following uprisings by indigenous communities.
In a broadcast message, Lasso explained the measure involved the provinces of Cotopaxi, Imbabura, and Pichincha (Quito).
He also announced that in order to alleviate the current economic crisis, the Government would up the value of a state bond given to the poorest, pardon overdue loans of up to US$ 3,000, and subsidize half the cost of urea, a fertilizer used in agriculture.
Lasso made these announcements after the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) called for a nationwide strike.
Other measures will include a declaration of emergency for the public health system, a 100% increase in the budget for intercultural education, an agricultural loan of up to US$ 5,000 at a 1 % over 30 years, and no increase in the price of fuels, and no privatization of utilities.
As per the new Decree, the right to freedom of association and assembly is suspended in the three provinces' spaces 24 hours a day, in addition to a curfew to be enacted in Quito from 10 pm to 5 am, with the usual exemptions, such as healthcare staff, law enforcement officers, logistics and people traveling to and from airports for scheduled flights during curfew hours.
United, sitting at a table, we will find solutions that will alleviate the situation of Ecuadorian families, Lasso stressed.
The Conaie gave an ultimatum to the Lasso administration late Thursday to give answers to the list of petitions demanded by the indigenous movement and refused to dialogue until the 10 petitions had been granted.
Conaie also called on its members not to allow vandalism or violence and to identify infiltrators who want to generate chaos. The protest must be carried with a clear agenda, dignity, and collective conscience.