A protester, a member of the indigenous tribe of the Amazon, was killed Tuesday in a “clash” with law enforcement forces on the ninth day of mass protests against the Ecuadorian government’s policies, the group’s leading human rights group told AFP.
The victim “was hit in the face, apparently by tear gas”, explained the lawyer Lina Maria Espinosa, of the Alliance of Human Rights Organizations.
The 40-year-old man from the Quechua tribe took part in the blockade of the Puyo community, south of Quito, along with other protesters.
Already, on the night of Monday to Tuesday, a young man was killed after he fell into a ravine during the demonstrations and the prosecutor’s office announced that it is conducting an investigation for homicide.
The powerful Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador (CONAIE), which had taken part in popular uprisings that ousted three presidents from 1997 to 2005 and also spearheaded the 2019 mass demonstrations that had been marred by violent clashes, organized 13 of the 11 dead. June marches and sets up roadblocks demanding that some ten demands be met, in particular to reduce fuel prices.
Thousands of indigenous people began a peaceful march to the center of the capital Quito from the south yesterday Monday. Several hundred arrived from the north in the city of more than three million inhabitants.
In addition to lowering fuel prices, protesters are also calling for jobs, to stop licensing minerals in the native lands, to control the prices of agricultural products, and to renegotiate the terms of repayment of loans granted. to farmers.
21% reduction in oil production
Ecuador’s oil production, its main export, fell by about 100,000 barrels a day, or 21%, due to mass mobilizations of indigenous people who have been rocking the country for almost ten days, the head of the public oil company announced on Tuesday. of the Latin American country.
It is “possible” that “today we are losing 100,000 barrels of oil per day,” the director of the public company Petroecuador, Italo Sedenio, told Ecuadorian media.
The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador (CONAIE) has been protesting for nine days against the government of conservative President Guillermo Lasso, mainly demanding a reduction in fuel prices.
Demonstrations, particularly roadblocks in more than half of the country’s 24 provinces and marches in many cities, have reduced crude production by Petroecuador and other companies, such as China’s PetroOriental.
“Production is falling not only because (the protesters) are squatting in mining facilities, but because they are now attacking power plants,” Sedenio said.
“Without electricity generation, no oil can be extracted,” the Petroecuador executive explained.
The supply of crude oil via secondary pipelines to the town of Lago Agrio (east), from where it is transported to the Pacific ports and the two main pipelines, has also been suspended, according to Mr Sedenios, who called for “a little more efficiency”. “mobilizing the army to restore order in the Amazon, where the oil wells are located.
Ecuador’s oil production between January and April was 481,000 barrels per day (78% from Petroecuador), of which 65% was exported, according to the central bank. If the protests continue, it may be gradually reduced to 129,000 barrels per day by June 30, according to estimates by the public oil company.