On Sunday, October 13, the South American airline LATAM announced the suspension of its services to and from Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) until further notice, amid ongoing tensions in the capital. LATAM passengers who had already bought tickets for canceled flights will be able to change their flight tickets up to 15 days from the original flight date. The company nonetheless stated that flight operations to or from Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil will operate normally.
On October 13, President Lenin Moreno eventually reached a deal with indigenous leaders to replace the decree slashing fuel subsidies with one that directs resources to the more vulnerable groups, following violent related protests in Quito in recent days. The new agreement remains to be implemented.
Several civil society groups and unions began protesting and striking on October 3 in response to President Moreno's announcement on October 1 that the government would eliminate nearly USD 1.3 billion in fuel subsidies to reduce the country's fiscal deficit, resulting in a price hike of gasoline and diesel fuel. The scale of the protests prompted the Ecuadorian government to declare a two-month state of emergency on October 3, to implement a ten-day curfew in Quito on October 12, and to deploy security forces to restore order in protest-affected areas. President Moreno moved his government from Quito to Guayaquil following violent protests that vandalized the assembly building in the capital on October 7. At least seven people were killed, 1340 injured, and 1152 others arrested during the protests.
Travelers traveling to or from Quito are advised to monitor developments to the situation, contact their airlines for further details, avoid all protests and demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence and associated disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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