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Indigenous Ecuadorians block highways to protest economic policies

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Quito, June 14 (Ajit Weekly News) An indigenous organization in Ecuador launched an indefinite protest, blocking highways with boulders to demand better economic conditions from the government.

The nationwide protest was called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the largest indigenous organization in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.

Protesters rallied against the economic policies of the current administration, demanding 10 concessions, including freezing fuel prices, setting fair prices for farm products, and improving employment and social security for the indigenous people.

The protest brought together some 3,800 people, according to local media, and was unfolding in multiple provinces across the country.

“We could say that so far 90 pe rcent of the roads are clear,” Minister Francisco Jimenez said, adding that traffic has now been restored in most of the blocked sections.

The central government will not allow the country to be plunged into chaos and would take actions against vandalism, he said at a press conference held at the ECU 911, an emergency technological platform dealing with emergencies where a Unified Command Post has been set up to monitor the situation arising from the nationwide agitation.

Meanwhile, oilfields and hydrocarbon infrastructure have been placed under military protection.

President Guillermo Lasso, who met with Conaie leaders months ago, called for dialogue so as not to affect economic recovery.

–Ajit Weekly News

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