On Saturday, October 5, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Ecuador (CONAIE) called for indefinite nationwide protests and "states of exception" in all indigenous territories to reject the government's austerity measures and police brutality. Several thousand indigenous protesters began marching to Quito on Sunday, October 6, from various indigenous territories throughout the country, and are due to arrive in the capital from Monday, October 7, through Tuesday, October 8. Protesters obstructing roads in several areas caused significant traffic on Sunday, including on the Pan-American Highway, in Cotopaxi, Quito, and Guayaquil. Posts on social media show that military tanks are circulating the streets of Quito's historical center as of approximately 21:00 on Sunday.
Leaders of indigenous groups, students, and other unions have called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday, October 9. Similar protests and strikes, and consequent business and transportation disruptions, are to be expected in major urban centers in Ecuador over the coming days. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Several civil society groups and unions began protesting and striking on October 3 in response to President Lenín Moreno announcing on October 1 that the government would eliminate nearly USD 1.3 billion in fuel subsidies to reduce the country's fiscal deficit. The Ecuadorian government has declared a two-month state of emergency and deployed military and police forces to reopen roads and restore order in protest-affected areas. Security forces have since arrested at least 379 people, and used tear gas to disperse protesters.
Prices of gasoline and diesel fuel are expected to increase significantly as a result of the measure, which came into effect on October 3.
Individuals in Ecuador are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence and associated transportation and business disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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