Lasso interrupts dialogue with protest leader after soldier's death

The government of Ecuador interrupted this Tuesday (28) the dialogue with the leader of the protests, Leonidas Iza, who the day before had participated in a meeting with government representatives to seek solutions to the demands that motivated the protests against the government because of the high cost of living, after the death of a soldier in an attack on a convoy carrying fuel.

In a message to the nation, the Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso announced that the government will not speak again with Iza, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) and who led Monday’s meeting together with other delegates from indigenous communities, with the mediation of representatives of other powers of the State, the Catholic Church and human rights.

The president warned that he will only dialogue with leaders of indigenous peoples and nationalities who are open to a “frank and real dialogue” and provided that there are guarantees that there will be no episodes of violence such as the attack on the military convoy in the province of Orellana.

“The government cannot sit down to dialogue with those who intend to hijack the peace of Ecuadorians”, said the president.

Lasso lamented the death of Sergeant José Chimarro, who was part of the protection of a series of trucks transporting fuel, at a time when shortages are registered in several regions of the country after 16 days of roadblocks and interdictions.

To establish dialogue, the government revoked the state of exception that had been decreed to stop the protests in six provinces of the country that concentrated the mobilizations, suspending the association and assembly rights.

To meet the demands of indigenous and peasant organizations, the government has also increased from US$ 50 to US$ 55 the bonus for families in situations of vulnerability and doubled the budget for intercultural education.

Likewise, it forgave families peasants for overdue debts of up to US$ 3,000, reduced interest on current credits and promised to subsidize up to 50% the cost of urea, which is used as fertilizer.

The protests started on the last day 13 and so far have left a balance of six dead, including the soldier who died in the early hours of this Tuesday, as well as about 400 injured between protesters and security forces agents.

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