Ecuadorian government, indigenous groups reach agreement to end protests

ecuador protests conaie protestors this week
Conaie protestors in Quito this week. Photo: Conaie/Twitter

The Ecuadorian government and representatives of Conaie, the country’s most important indigenous organization, finally reached an agreement to stop nationwide protests that had convulsed the country for 18 days and resulted in six deaths and million-dollar economic losses.

Talks between the government and indigenous leaders began on Monday but were suspended a day later after a soldier was killed during a demonstration, and there is no clear path to a resolution of the crisis. A new sit-down took place on Thursday, with mediation by the Ecuadoran Episcopal Conference.

The government and Conaie signed a joint document that officially paused the riots. The deal establishes a 15-cent reduction per gallon in fuel prices, more than Mr. Lasso’s original 10-cent cut.

The government will also declare a state of health emergency and review its oil and mining sector policies, in view of environmental damages and impacts on indigenous communities. 

A 90-day deadline was given to the Lasso administration to solve pending measures. Conaie also said it will “remain vigilant” and that new protests could be summoned in the future if the government fails to honor its promises.