Ecuador’s capital in crisis as protests continue

A road full of protesters armed with shields and holding wooden sticksImage copyright Reuters

Thousands of protesters in Ecuador have clashed with security forces in the capital, Quito.

The protests are led by indigenous groups demanding the end of austerity and the return of fuel subsidies.

Demonstrators have been throwing homemade firebombs at riot police, who have responded with tear gas.

They are demanding the resignation of President Lenín Moreno, who has moved his government to the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Those taking part in the protests stormed parliament on Wednesday, waving flags and chanting slogans before being forced out by tear gas.

Mr Moreno declared a state of emergency last week. He said he would resign “under no circumstance”, but was open to mediation through the United Nations or the Roman Catholic Church.

Two people have lost their lives in the disturbances and dozens more have been injured.

Protester running through the streets waving a red flagImage copyright Reuters
About seven protesters wearing hoods attempting to fire a homemade mortar during the clashes with policeImage copyright AFP

Demonstrators have been using homemade firebombs and mortars to attack riot police, covering their faces to avoid identification.

They have been throwing rocks, storming buildings and barricading roads, forcing the city into total shut down.

Protesters carry a burning tyre down a road strewn with rocksImage copyright Reuters
Protesters running and waving red flagsImage copyright Reuters

Riot police patrolled the streets on horseback in a bid to control the violence.

But with thousands of protesters converging on the city, Quito has seen almost a week of riots.

About 10 police on horseback marching through the hilly streets of QuitoImage copyright RODRIGO BUENDIA
A protester uses a plastic bottle as a gas maskImage copyright Reuters
Image caption One protester uses a plastic bottle as a gas mask to protect himself from tear gas

As the hardest hit by austerity and fuel price hikes, indigenous groups have been leading the protest.

Indigenous-led protests have toppled three presidents in the past few decades.

People holding flags and horns as they march through the streetsImage copyright EPA


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