Hundreds of indigenous people forcefully occupied a power plant in southern Ecuador within the framework of a protest that has already completed eleven days against the government for the cost of living, the government reported this Thursday.
“Approximately 300 people from various indigenous and peasant communities entered the facilities of the Tisaleo electrical substation.”, in the province of Tungurahua (south), said the Minister of Energy and Mines, Xavier Vera, in an interview with Radio Platinum.
The takeover occurred on Wednesday night, “peacefully at first,” but later “The operators were kidnapped” for refusing to suspend the electricity service he added. Nevertheless, the plant managed to maintain the electric flow in an attack that could affect the city of Guayaquil. Vera did not specify if the plant was still busy.
“This is not trivial, this is not random. I believe that there is a macabre intelligence job because this substation is essential”denounced the head of the portfolio.
Meanwhile, some 10,000 indigenous people who have come from their territories are protesting day and night at different points Quito with a range of claims about the high cost of living. The mobilizations, mostly peaceful, have left three dead, 92 injured and 94 detained since June 13, according to the Alliance of Organizations for Human Rights. The police denounce that during the revolt 117 officers were injured and 28 detained, who were later released.
This Thursday there are new calls for protests to demand that the government reduce fuel prices, help with credits with private banks, among other measures. In a dollarized economy where fuels are subsidized, the increase in gasoline increased the cost of freight. The indigenous people allege that their agricultural products only leave losses.
But the pressure has not broken right-wing President Guillermo Lasso, who considers the claims unfeasible.
Harassed and isolated by a recent contagion of covid, the president refuses to give in to the conditions that the indigenous people demand to sit down to negotiate. Among them, the repeal of the state of exception that governs six of the 24 provinces and the capital, with a robust military deployment and night curfews.