QUITO – The Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference and the United Nations in Ecuador announced on Tuesday opening a space for dialog between the government and indigenous leaders to discuss the development of a new decree on fuel subsidies.
In a joint statement, the episcopate and the UN office in Quito, which have brokered a process of direct talks, reported that government representatives and indigenous people will meet on Wednesday to discuss a new legal provision in the follow-up to an earlier agreement to eliminate a decree doing away with fuel subsidies.
The country’s president, Lenin Moreno, repealed decree 883, which eliminated fuel subsidies and triggered the violent protests and social unrest for more than a week.
The president has clarified that the new decree will benefit the most needy sections of society, although its content was yet to be decided.
On Sunday, after 10 days of demonstrations, Moreno succumbed to the pressure of the indigenous protesters and backtracked on the implementation of the decree eliminating subsidies, a measure linked to commitments under a credit agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador agreed to work together with the government to establish a law replacing the contentious decree 88.
The protests, which took place over Oct. 3-13, left eight people dead, according to the Prosecutor’s Office – although the government claimed the number stood at six – while more than 1,500 were injured, including 435 policemen and 1,192 detainees.