Violent demonstrations over the government’s austerity moves have left six people dead and nearly 2,100 wounded or detained, according to authorities in Ecuador.
Protesters on Saturday targeted a television station and a newspaper office, as well as setting fire to the comptroller general’s office, forcing President Lenin Moreno to impose a curfew on the capital, Quito, and call for talks with indigenous leaders.
The UN and the Catholic Church said that “after having contact with the government and the organisations of the indigenous movement, the first reunion for dialogue has been called for October 13” in Quito, according to a joint statement.
The crisis broke out at the start of October after Moreno ordered the lifting of fuel subsidies as part of a deal struck by his government to obtain a $4.2bn loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The price of fuel has since more than doubled.
Ecuador’s army took to the streets after Moreno ordered the first 24-hour curfew in decades. It was the first such action imposed since a series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s.
By Saturday night, soldiers had retaken control of the park and streets leading to the National Assembly and the national comptroller’s office, which had been broken into by protesters who started fires inside the building.