Thursday, December 08, 2022

Ecuador: Puyo, a city in crisis due to sieges and protests

Quito ( Associated Press) — The Ecuadorian city of Puyo was besieged by demonstrators on Wednesday, without police custody and in distress over a lack of food, after a violent night in which indigenous protesters burned down a police station, destroying businesses. Robbed and attacked property. Personal.

The violent day has also killed one protester, Byron Guatatoca, from tear gas, kidnapped three policemen, missing 18 and burned 18 police vehicles, while without food supplies due to a strict blockade of protesters. The market indicates access to that city, located 152 kilometers east of the capital and at the entrance to the Amazon.

Ivan Ilanes, representative of the indigenous nationalities of the province of Pastaza, whose capital is Puyo, said in a press conference that “as residents of the province and in the exercise of our rights … to guarantee (protect) the communities and the people”. The army is asked to take control of the city’s system. He also promised that the protesters would provide guarantees for commerce, transport and mobilization of private vehicles and people and that they would avoid any confrontation with men in uniform at the blocking points.

In addition, he handed over two policemen, who were in his possession, though the whereabouts of the rest of the missing and kidnapped policemen were not reported.

Indigenous protests to demand that the government of President Guillermo Lasso lower the price of gasoline and other demands have been going on for more than a week and have mainly worsened in at least six provinces of the country, including pasta. Including where Puyo is located. During the meeting, the government said that it does not accept the conditions imposed by Swadeshi for talks.

Diego Escobar, a resident of Puyo who was involved in the protests, told The Associated Press by phone that “there is a lot of fear, fear and anxiety on the part of the population; today we are closing commercial complexes completely, leaving some for more looting.” It has been secured with boards and wires out of fear, as there is no police and army presence.”

He said, “It is a congested city, without the possibility of fuel or food penetration, the situation is dire for those of us in Puyo, because there is a food shortage and we are probably the city most affected by the national strike.” “

The interior minister, Patricio Carrillo, said at a press conference of 70,000 residents in that city, “We cannot guarantee public order … They have surrounded the city entrance with weapons, ancestral weapons and explosives”.

He pointed out that Tuesday night the indigenous people “staged the most serious incident in the city of Puyo in recent years, it was an extremely violent day” for which “we doubt the proposals of the dialogue that the leader of an organization of social protest” commits all kinds of offenses under

Juan Guatatoca, the son of the deceased in the Puyo protests, told the Associated Press that “the truth was that what happened yesterday was so hard, it happened before my very eyes, I could see how my father died. My mother and my brothers.” It is very difficult for me. I want justice for what he did to my father.” He lives in the community of Pindo Grande near that city.

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