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Ecuadorian government and indigenous people reach agreement to end protests

The government of Ecuador and the indigenous movement reached an agreement this Thursday (30) to end the protests against the high cost of living in the country, that lasted 18 days and left six dead, including a military man, and about 500 injured between protesters and security forces agents.

The indigenous and peasant organizations that led the protests agreed to suspend the mobilizations after the government promised to revoke the state of exception, lower the price of subsidized fuel in 50 cents and stop granting mining concessions in natural reserves, intangible zones, water recharge areas and indigenous territories.

The agreements were announced at a ceremony at the Conference headquarters Episcopalian, who acted as a mediator between the two parties to resume a dialogue that had started last Monday, but was interrupted by the government the following day after the death of a

From this commitment, 85 octane gasoline will cost US$ 2,40 per gallon (3,78 liters) and diesel US$ 1,75, despite the demand of the indigenous movement of to be reduced to US$ 2,15 and US$ 1, 50, respectively, prices similar to those from a year ago.

The final agreement marks an additional cut of $0,05 per gallon on top of the reduction of US$ 0, already announced by Lasso on Sunday night.

Prior to this commitment, the government had already met partially other demands of the indigenous movement, such as the repeal of the Decree 95, which promoted oil activity in the Amazon.

It had also approved the forgiveness of overdue debts to peasant families from up to US$ 3 thousand, the reduction of interest on current loans, and promised to subsidize up to 50% of the cost of urea, the increase in collateral for vulnerable families from US$ 50 to US$ 50, doubling the intercultural education budget and declaring the health system in an emergency situation .

The remaining ten points on the list of demands of the indigenous movement will be dealt with in working groups, such as the forgiveness of debts of up to US$ 10 thousand, the control of prices of basic necessities and the non-privatization of state companies.

In exchange for the cessation of the protests, the government promised to revoke the new state of exception decreed the day before in four provinces of the country where several episodes of violence and shortages of essential products such as fuel and medical oxygen were concentrated.

The signing of the agreement was attended by the Minister of the Government, Francisco Jiménez, who has been the interlocutor of the government of President Guillermo Lasso with the organizers of the protests.

On the other side was the main leader of the protests, Leonidas Iza, president Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), with whom Lasso had said on Tuesday that the Ecuadorian government would not speak again, because it considered him an “opportunist” who did not represent the interests of indigenous peoples.

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