Published:  12:26 AM, 10 October 2019

Ecuador readies for mass protest as fuel price anger flares

Ecuador's capital braced for mass protests Wednesday despite talks between the government and indigenous leaders, as anger flared anew over a fuel price hike. Unions and other groups angry at the price rise are expected in the streets of Quito alongside thousands of farmers and indigenous people.

They are demanding that President Lenin Moreno reinstate fuel subsidies that were rescinded after $4.2 billion in loans were agreed from the International Monetary Fund.

"We have already got in touch and have spoken with some of their leaders," said Moreno on Tuesday as he greeted soldiers in the coastal city of Guayaquil, where he moved government headquarters last week. There was "some difficulty" though, he admitted as more than sixty organizations were against the fuel price hike.

On Tuesday, clashes between security forces and protesters broke out near Congress and demonstrators many of them indigenous men armed with sticks and whips -- surged through a security cordon and into the building. They rushed into the meeting room and occupied the podium, but were soon evicted by security forces.

--AFP, Ecuador

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