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Tear gas, rocks fly as Ecuador protesters demand president steps down

Protesters and riot police exchanged rocks and tear gas in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito on Tuesday (October 08) amidst rising anger of austerity measures that have seen a price hike in fuel.

With no signs of the tensions abating, Ecuador’s government sought foreign mediation via the United Nations or the Catholic Church. The unrest has forced the government to move from the capital and brought hundreds of arrests.

Thousands of indigenous demonstrators have converged on the highland capital, Quito, and clashed with police near the heavily guarded National Assembly.

Facing the biggest challenge to his two-and-a-half-year rule, President Lenin Moreno has declared a state of emergency and relocated government operations to the coastal city of Guayaquil where there has been less trouble.

Officials say the number of arrests has risen to 570.

Moreno has accused the leftist Correa, his one-time mentor and boss when he was vice president, of seeking a coup with the help of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.

Moreno had enthusiastically backed Correa during his decade-long rule but broke with him after winning a 2017 election to succeed him, and moved economic policies to the right.

(Production: Alberto Fajardo, Daniel Tapa, Nacho Munoz, Geraldine Downer)

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