Ecuador paralyzed by national strike

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Indigenous protesters have clashed again with riot police in Ecuador’s captial as thousands of people joined anti-government rallies and marches calling for the repeal of austerity measures which have sparked the worst political unrest in a decade.

Hooded youths threw stones and burned tires as police fired tear gas around the empty parliament building which had been sealed off. Demonstrators also tried unsuccessfully to storm barricades around the presidential palace, which the president, Lenín Moreno, left on Monday, moving his government to the port city of Guayaquil.

Other groups including labour unions and indigenous federations marched, for the most part peacefully, on the first day of a national strike which leaders say will not end until the government repeals a decree scrapping fuel subsidies which caused the price of petrol to spike by a third and the cost of diesel to more than double.

Indigenous protests have played a central role in toppling a string of Ecuador’s presidents, including Abdalá Bucaram in 1997, Jamil Mahuad in 2000 and Lucio Gutiérrez in 2005.

Via The Guardian

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