As of 22:00 (local time) on Sunday, October 13, talks are ongoing between President Lenin Moreno and several civil society groups, including the Confederation of Indigenous Nations (CONAIE), to discuss resuming fuel subsidies. On Sunday afternoon, several thousand protesters carrying sharpened sticks and improvised shields clashed with hundreds of riot police who used tear gas to disperse protesters in Quito's northern district. Some protesters reportedly launched homemade projectiles at the police, and two military vehicles were set on fire. A curfew remains in effect in the area from 20:00 to 11:00. Officials announced on Sunday that at least seven people have died since protests began on October 3, and a further 1340 injured and 1152 arrested.
Additional protests and consequent disruptions to business and transportation, as well as a heightened security presence, are to be expected in Quito and in other major urban centers in Ecuador over the coming days. Accompanying 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 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. Prices of gasoline and diesel fuel are expected to increase significantly as a result of the measure, which came into effect on October 3. 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. President Moreno moved his government from Quito to Guayaquil following violent protests that vandalized the assembly building in the capital on October 7.
Individuals in Quito and across Ecuador are advised to monitor the situation, 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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