The economic adjustment measures implemented in Ecuador by the banker president Guillermo Lasso have dismantled the health, education and social protection systems. In addition, regressive taxation and rising prices of the basic food basket are dragging millions of Ecuadorians into poverty.
After a year of government in which the non-fulfillment of Lasso's main campaign proposals is evident, the ruling party faces a wave of citizen mobilizations throughout the country led by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and joined by students, transportation workers and other political and social actors.
In response, the banker’s government has reacted with an alarming escalation if authoritarianism and repression. In a matter of hours, Lasso labeled the organizations leading the mobilizations as terrorists, ordered the arbitrary and illegal detention of one of the protest leaders, issued a disproportionate State of Exception decree limiting the freedom of association and information, and raided the Ecuadorian House of Culture and militarized its facilities.
Yesterday, Lasso also militarized the National Assembly to prevent the session in which the eventual repeal of the State of Exception would be debated. As of today, human rights organizations have registered 39 human rights violations, 79 arrests, 55 injured and 3 disappeared persons in 9 days of national strike.
The Progressive International denounces to the world that the state of freedoms and democracy in Ecuador are being threatened by the violent actions of a government that does not hesitate in using the state machinery to repress, detain and terrorize all people who peacefully and legitimately exercise their right to demonstrate. We strongly reject the abuse of power and the criminalization of social protest by the Ecuadorian government, and urge the international community to act in solidarity with the peoples rising up on streets across the country.