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Four dead in anti-government protests in Ecuador

Thursday marks the eleventh day of protest in the country. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which has been leading the protests since June 13, is asking the government to reduce fuel prices, tackle the problem of unemployment, regulate the prices of agricultural products and fighting crime, among other means.

Ecuador’s national police said the latest death occurred Tuesday in the province of Pastaza, in the Amazon region, “as a result of the handling of an explosive device”.

The police clarified that these materials are not used forcibly to maintain public order and “even less during marches and peaceful demonstrations”. The institution said the case will be investigated by judicial authorities and will provide support to clarify any violent incidents.

On Tuesday, Ecuador’s health ministry said two people died last Sunday due to a roadblock when ambulances were blocked by protests.

On Monday, police said one person died after falling from a ravine north of Quito; the death was linked to the protests.

At least 120 police officers have been seriously injured since the protests began on June 13, according to the Ecuadorian National Police.

President Lasso’s government has made several calls for open dialogue since the protests began. In a video address posted to Twitter on Monday, Lasso says he listened to the “needs of the most vulnerable” focusing on health care, cross-cultural education and debt cancellation, among other demands.

In a statement released by La Conaie yesterday, they accused the government’s communications of containing “mockery, lies and a racist colonial narrative” against indigenous groups.

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