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05 oct. 2019 | 05h40 UTC

Ecuador: Transport unions call off strike October 4 /update 3

Ecuador Alerte de sécurité

Transport unions call off strike on October 4 amid fuel subsidy cuts; further protests and strikes, and associated transport and business disruptions expected in coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/10/2019, 12h00 until 6/10/2019, 11h59 (America/Guayaquil). COUNTRY/REGION Ecuador, Quito, Guayaquil

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Event

A spokesman for transport unions announced in the evening (local time) on Friday, October 4, that they had called off a nationwide transport strike that began on Thursday, October 3, to denounce cuts to fuel subsidies. However, leaders of indigenous groups, students, and other unions have reportedly said that they will continue to protest and have called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday, October 9. 

At least 379 protesters, primarily in Quito and Guayaquil, have been arrested as of Friday after security officials used tear gas to disperse protesters that were barricading roads, and throwing stones and fire bombs. Local media outlets report that at least 59 uniformed police officials and 14 civilians are injured. According to western diplomatic authorities, some access roads to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), serving Quito, remain blocked and several domestic and international flights operating to and from UIO have been canceled as of Friday.

Similar protests and strikes, and consequent 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.

Context

A national transportation strike was launched in Ecuador 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 state of emergency and deployed military and police forces to reopen roads and restore order in protest-affected areas.

Prices of gasoline and diesel fuel are expected to increase significantly as a result of the measure, which came into effect on October 3.

Advice

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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