Ecuador’s Indigenous Communities Prevail, for Now, Against Moreno’s Austerity Drive

An anti-government protester waves a national flag in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 14, 2019 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).
An anti-government protester waves a national flag in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 14, 2019 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

After nearly two weeks of paralyzing and deadly protests in Ecuador, the streets of Quito rang out in celebration Sunday night. The demonstrations, led by indigenous groups, had succeeded in pressuring President Lenin Moreno to reinstate a popular fuel subsidy he had removed on Oct. 2 as part of an austerity package backed by the International Monetary Fund. “Victory for the popular struggle!” wrote Jaime Vargas, the head of the country’s largest indigenous coalition, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, or CONAIE, on Twitter. Moreno said the subsidy cuts were necessary under the requirements of a $4.2 billion loan […]

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