QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso on Sunday announced a cut in gasoline prices that fell short of cuts demanded by indigenous leaders to end a strike that hit parts of the country for two weeks. has paralyzed.
The cut lowers the price of gasoline by 10 cents per gallon. Ecuador’s Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities has demanded adherence to a 10-point agenda, including cutting the price of extra gasoline from $2.55 to $2.10 a gallon and diesel from 1.90 to 1.50.
Lasso said on national television late Sunday that the price of fuel has “become the cornerstone that perpetuates the conflict”.
“Ecuadorians seeking dialogue will find a government with an outstretched hand, those seeking chaos, violence and terrorism will face the full force of the law,” he said, stressing that the country must return to normalcy.
There was no immediate response from the native confederation.
The move comes shortly after Lasso lifted the state of emergency he had imposed in six provinces and government officials held initial talks with protest leaders. It also comes as lawmakers discuss an opposition request to remove Lasso from office amid the strike, which has caused food shortages and hurt the economy.
Indigenous protesters are demanding a cut in gasoline prices, price controls on agricultural products and a bigger budget for education. Lasso had accused the leader of the sometimes violent strike of committing a coup d’état.
On Thursday, the indigenous confederation said a protester died of bullet wounds to the chest and abdomen while protesting near the National Assembly in Quito, where about 100 other people suffered various injuries. Police tweeted that officers were also injured by pellets.
In Quito, protesters blocking roads have nearly brought the city to a standstill and people face food and fuel shortages. Groups of protesters have roamed the city attacking vehicles and civilians and shutting down businesses, some of which were looted.
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