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Protesters flood Quito over anti-austerity measures

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:48s - Published
Protesters flood Quito over anti-austerity measures

Protesters flood Quito over anti-austerity measures

For a sixth consecutive day, protesters filled the streets of Quito, Ecuador, demanding a reversal of President Lenin Moreno's anti-austerity measures that cut fuel subsidies in the country.

Nathan Frandino has more.

Chaos has erupted on the streets of Quito, Ecuador, where anti-austerity protests reached a sixth day on Tuesday.

Protesters clashed with authorities near the presidential palace, setting debris on fire and dodging tear gas canisters.

The demonstrations began almost a week ago when President Lenin Moreno announced the end of fuel subsidies.

The decision was part of an economic reform package for a $4.2 billion International Monetary Fund loan.

And now protesters - like Andres Kilumba - are fed up.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ECUADOREAN PROTESTER, ANDRES KILUMBA, SAYING: "They forgive the rich and take from the poor.

That's why we're here, to defend what is ours, nothing more." Moreno said he believes his opponents are attempting a coup.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ECUADORIAN PRESIDENT, LENIN MORENO, SAYING: "The lootings, vandalism and violence show there is an organized political motive here to destabilize the government, and break the constitutional order, break democratic order." One of those Moreno has accused of seeking a coup is his predecessor and one-time mentor, former President Rafael Correa.

Moreno said Correa was also getting help from Venezuela.

In an interview with Reuters from Belgium where he lives in self-exile, Correa called the accusation nonsense.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER ECUADORIAN PRESIDENT, RAFAEL CORREA, SAYING: "They said that I was over, destroyed (but) now I am so powerful that from Brussels with an iPhone I can direct demonstrations across the country (Ecuador).

They are lying, as they have lied for two and a half years." The protests have also affected the country's oil output.

Officials say the state-run oil company Petroamazonas could lose a third of its crude production due to "insecure conditions."




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