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Ecuador's capital rocked by clashes

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 5 days ago - Duration: 01:23s

Ecuador's capital rocked by clashes

An indigenous group in Ecuador that has led massive protests to reinstate a fuel subsidy said on Saturday that it has decided to hold direct talks with President Lenin Moreno, the first sign of a potential breakthrough in a dispute that has triggered more than a week of unrest.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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Ecuador's capital rocked by clashes

The capital of Ecuador rocked by a tenth day of anti-austerity protests Saturday... with downtown Quito resembling a war zone.

Plumes of tear gas and small fires filled the streets while protesters hid behind barricades to protect themselves as police fired tear gas.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ANONYMOUS PROTESTER, SAYING: "This is a government that is damned, that is inept, that's attacking the people, we are not armed.

Look at how we are.

This is the damned government of Lenin Moreno.

Down with Lenin Moreno." President Lenin Moreno's decision to end a decades old fuel subsidy ignited the unrest... He says the measure was necessary to reduce the country's fiscal deficit after he signed a multi-billion dollar loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.

Opponents say the higher fuel prices have pushed up the cost of food and other goods, hitting indigenous and poor people the hardest.

But signs of a potential breakthrough appeared to rise after more than a week of unrest.

The indigenous group leading the protests announced Saturday that it has decided to hold direct talks with the president.

While the mayor of Quito then told a local TV channel that President Moreno's government will "analyze" the law that sparked the unrest.

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