More clashes erupt on 5th day of anti-government protests in Ecuador

Quito, June 17 (EFE).- Clashes erupted between police and protesters in the Ecuadorian capital on Friday, the fifth day of anti-government demonstrations against rising prices and the economic policies of right-wing President Guillermo Lasso.

Students, traders, and peasants marched through the streets of Quito as Andean indigenous people stomped their heels and tapped their toes aggressively amid the knocking sounds of police boots.

Thousands had gathered in Quito for the march called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) against the government’s economic policies.

The march ended again with clashes between protesters and police near the Plaza de Santo Domingo, even as the rally was peaceful.

Police stopped some marchers who tried to remove the barricades set up to prevent the protesting from reaching the Carondelet Presidential Palace.

Demonstrators wrapped in Ecuador’s flag blew vuvuzelas loudly, banged drums, and played guitars and pinkillus (Andean flute), lending some festive atmosphere to the rally and emulating the Andean festival of Inti Raymi celebrated in honor of the sun god.

According to the Andean cosmovision, the June solstice is a time of agricultural renewal as Earth rests after producing food.

Peasants wake the Earth with expanding foot dance spirals amid the loud musical repertoire.

And on Friday, the protesting peasants re-enacted the custom to invite more young people to attend the demonstrations.

As some demonstrators stomped their feet, police motorbikes zoomed past with loud vrooms in the Plaza de Santo Domingo.

Police officers were waiting to prevent the mob from reaching Plaza de la Independencia, housing the government secretariat.

Police fired tear gas canisters as protesters reached the central plaza.

Some people suffered suffocation due to the tear gas accumulating in the narrow streets of Quito.

Medical and nursing students who accompanied the marchers assisted them immediately.

Conaie has called for an indefinite strike against the government, demanding freezing gasoline costs at a lower price and controlling consumer product rates. EFE


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