On Monday, May 25, at least one police officer was injured as clashes flared up during nationwide protests against the economic measures implemented in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The protests were organized by unions and society groups, including the FUT labor union and the main indigenous organization CONAIE. The protesters are unhappy at the public spending cuts and other economic measures introduced by President Lenin Moreno on Tuesday, May 19, to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming workers are paying a disproportionate price compared to Ecuador's elite. Around 2,000 people gathered in Quito from around 09:00 (local time) and associated gatherings were witnessed in other major urban centers nationwide, including Guayaquil, Ibarra, Atuntaqui, and Otavalo. The protests took place despite lockdown measures in place due to the pandemic, and while many wore masks and attempted to keep apart from one another, social distancing was reportedly impossible to maintain during the gatherings. As the protests wore on, isolated incidents of clashes with security forces were reported. In the capital a police officer was injured by a glass bottle thrown by the crowd. There were no reports of any arrests.
Further demonstrations over the issue are likely over the near term, with the FUT reportedly planning another march on Thursday, May 28.
Individuals in Ecuador are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence and transportation disruptions near protest sites, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer