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Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Restive Quito under curfew after protesters turn Ecuador’s capital into a war zone

On Saturday (October 12), the highland capital was rocked by a 10th day of clashes over President Lenin Moreno’s austerity plan.

Moreno has ordered a military-backed curfew in Quito and surrounding valleys starting at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT), blaming the violence on extremists whom he said had infiltrated protests and foreign political forces such as Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Europe-based former president Rafael Correa.

Overturned vehicles, burnt out buildings and rocks and debris strewn across empty roads, as residents and protested heeded the curfew.

President Lenin Moreno’s decision to end a decades old fuel subsidy ignited the unrest. He has said the measure was necessary to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit after he signed a multi-billion dollar loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.

But on Saturday, he said he would assess a decree that slashed fuel subsidies with the indigenous and social groups that have led protests against it, but did not indicate he planned to repeal it.

The government and indigenous groups are due to meet later in the day for talks to resolve the conflict.

(Production: Daniel Tapia, Cristina Munoz, Paul Vieira)

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