Ecuador Protests Disrupt Compassion International Outreach Programs

Soldiers walk near burning barricades during protests against austerity measures of Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno’s government, in Duran, Ecuador October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Santiago Arcos

As described here, Ecuador protests indicate yet another South American nation is starting to unravel. Ecuador’s president declared a state of emergency, then moved the capital last week from Quito to a coastal city amid escalating demonstrations.

Sixto Gamboa oversees Compassion International’s work in Ecuador. He says protests are affecting their programs nationwide. “Since we’re in different places in the country, we have to depend on regular transportation,” Gamboa says.

“During the whole week, [there] has been no transportation. So, no transportation [means] no way to take things into the community, or get things out of the community.”

Help children escape Ecuador’s poverty through Compassion International.

Price spike triggers Ecuador protests

Union workers began protesting on October 3 after President Lenín Moreno removed fuel subsidies in exchange for help from the International Monetary Fund, the Associated Press reports.

According to DW, the decision increased fuel prices by 120%. Nearly one-quarter of Ecuador’s population exists on less than $5.50 USD each day, making a spike of this size difficult to manage.  Most people simply want the government “to go back to where we were” before the October 3 decision, Gamboa says.

However, Moreno refuses to budge, which filled last week with tension.

On Tuesday, Moreno imposed a nightly curfew after protestors clashed with security forces inside a parliamentary building. The following day, thousands gathered in the streets of Quito for anti-government rallies. Some protestors kidnapped police officers but then released them the next morning. Hundreds of indigenous people from the Amazon reportedly joined demonstrations in Quito on Friday.

Gamboa prays for peace as a new week begins, and he remains optimistic. “Things may get better… we may be able to move and go with our personnel or the church team to the communities,” he says.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth