Protests, Strikes, Riots, Blockades and Violence in Ecuador

Since President Morena of Ecuador passed some measures last week to address the country’s fiscal deficit and debt burden, which included rescinding a significant gasoline/diesel fuel subsidy, the country has been rocked by protest. The protests are getting some mainstream press, but there isn’t much information on how the typical Ecuadoran is being affected by the unrest. NC Scout at American Partisan has been publishing updates from a local with whom he has been working on some Red Cross communications who has been keeping NC Scout apprised of the situation.  The updates give some insight on what civil unrest can do – downed communications infrastructure, how the government is trying to airlift needed supplies for citizens in towns which have been cutoff from truck resupply by the many protest blockades, and so on. Will this be a passing unrest? Or could Ecuador follow the path set by Venezuela for a longer-term shtf situation?

NC Scout’s updates are currently in twelve parts. Surviving Real SHTF: Chaos in Quito. Part 0. Part I. Part II. Part III. Part IV. Part V. Part VI. Part VII. Part VIII. Part IX. Part X. Part XI. Part XII.

…Stopṕed by the only gas station here. They are done as of today, tanks dry. No more gasoline even for the locals running around the immediate area.
Blockade continues…

Part of the public market is open as of a couple of hours ago but less than yesterday. Meat, fruit, vegetables in some of them but not much and half the stalls closed. No chicken anywhere. Still staples and from my conversations there a few more locals are thinking they might lay in a supply but NOT very many…

Ecuavisa signal in Ambato is out of the air because dozens of indigenous protesters mobilized to Pilisurco Hill to force the antennae of the channel’s repeater…

Red Cross ambulances were attacked by protesters yesterday in Quito, so not much respect for emergency services. As local food stuffs run out without re supply, then attacks on shop keepers are going to increase…

About 180 protesters on Monday forced the security of the warehouses of a dairy company in the town of Lasso, about 60 kilometers south of the capital, and stole products after assaulting employees…

Locally everything is closed. I have not been to centro today but talked to the woman who owns the apartment I rent who is also indig and a shop owner. No more milk, eggs, cheese or bread. When the shops that dare to, open, the police generally tell them to close. She hasnt been able to resupply, everyone else here is in the same condition. This morning I was surprised that there was garbage pickup…

planes of the Ecuadorian Air Force, make the air bridge from the city of Quito to Cuenca in order to supply the population of this sector of the country with essential products…

there have been problems with the reception of medicines for some of the hospitals and medical centers of the city and the province we will give priority.

…From internet sources, 2 deaths in the last 24 hours from injuries suffered in the Quito protests. No accurate info on the total number so far…

In the midst of the violent protests that have surrounded Ecuador , the Red Cross announced that it suspends its attention in the middle of the demonstrations for not being able to guarantee the safety of the volunteers…

Red Cross. No blood supply.   No emergency services anywhere.  Really important for people here to realize this…

 

Mainstream press coverage:

Wall Street Journal: General Strike Paralyzes Ecuador as Protests Continue

RT: Ecuador Protesters Storm Parliament Building Amid Chaotic Street Demonstrations

A substantial police presence was seen in the areas surrounding the national assembly, where security forces clashed with demonstrators wielding stones, sticks and other improvised weapons. The police – some on horseback, motorbike, or in armored vehicles – responded with tear gas and billy clubs.

A larger gathering of several thousand met near the parliament building, defying Moreno’s national emergency decree, which banned public assembly and put restrictions on press freedoms. Many of the demonstrators come from poor and indigenous communities across Ecuador, where the spending cuts have taken the highest toll, particularly the elimination of fuel subsidies.

Voice of America: Crisis in Ecuador over End to Fuel Subsidies