Today, three man were arrested in Latacunga, Ecuador after a projectile struck the car of President Leonidas Iza Salazar’s, who is the President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador. The men, who are foreign nationals, along with a grenade launcher, and 18 30mm grandes have been detained by government forces.
In the past 24 hours, the security situation in the Ecuadorian Provinces of Cotopaxi, Imbabura, and Pichincha (Quito) has broken down. Indigenous peoples, especially farmers in those regions have been openly revolting against security forces due to the exploding cost of living, especially the price of urea which is an essential component of fertilizers for the families there.
The Confederation has provided Ecuadorian President Lasso with a list of demands meant to ease the burden on these families. CONAIE has also enlisted the help of the Coordinadora Nacional Campesina(National Peasant Coordinator – CNC), the Frente Nacional Antiminero (National Anti-Mining Front), the Federación Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas (National Federation of Peasant Organizations – FENOC), the Federación Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indígenas y Negras (National Federation of Peasant, Indigenous and Negroes Organizations – Fenocin), as well as banana, rice, corn and flower growers, fishermen, medical associations, retirees, public trade unions, students and transport workers to strike and pressure the federal government. These talks have been ongoing for the last year but have been exacerbated in the last 3 months due to the price of basic food stuffs increasing since the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation in late February.
The cost of a healthy diet in Ecuador is $3.18 per person per dayaccording to calculations by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the Nations (FAO).
The 32.2% of Ecuadorians have income that is not enough to obtain a healthy diet characterized by the FAO as the type of diet that includes foods from several groups with a greater diversity of them. There are 3.2 million people who face this situation in the country.
President Lasso acquiesced to the demands and declared today that the government would up the value of a state bond given to the poorest, pardon overdue loans of up to US$ 3,000, and subsidize half the cost of urea, a fertilizer used in agriculture.
Other measures will include a declaration of emergency for the public health system, a 100% increase in the budget for intercultural education, an agricultural loan of up to US$ 5,000 at a 1 % over 30 years, and no increase in the price of fuels, and no privatization of utilities.
This announcement came 2 days after the President declared a state of emergency in the three provinces and moved additional security forces to the region.