Ecuador has reduced the price of gasoline for protesters with the latest concessions

Ecuador has reduced the price of gasoline for protesters with the latest concessions
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QUITO, June 26 (Reuters) – Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso said on Sunday he would cut petrol and diesel prices by 10 cents a gallon, the latest concession to try to end nearly two weeks of protests against a government of at least six people. died.

Among other things, sometimes violent protests by local protesters, mostly demanding lower fuel and food prices, began on June 13 and reduced Ecuador’s oil production.

Lasso, whose relations with the parliament deteriorated during the protests, has already withdrawn security measures, announced the forgiveness of subsidized fertilizers and debts, and the government met with local groups this weekend. read more

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Leonidas Iza, the leader of the local organization CONAIE, promised earlier on Sunday that he would continue the protests until petrol prices and other issues were resolved.

“Everyone believes that gas prices have become the cornerstone of the continuation of the conflict, and although we as a government know very well that this factor is not the source of Ecuador’s problems, we must consider the common good and the peace of citizens,” Lasso said. .

“I have decided to reduce the price of extra gasoline and Ecopais (gasoline) by 10 cents per gallon, as well as the price of diesel by 10 cents per gallon,” Lasso said.

Lasso froze in October last year, freezing the price of extra gasoline to $ 2.55 and diesel to $ 1.90.

Additional gasoline will now cost $ 2.45 per gallon, while diesel will cost $ 1.80, both of which are still higher than required by CONAIE.

Earlier, the Energy Ministry said that Ecuador’s oil production had halved due to roadblocks and vandalism.

“Oil production is at a critical level. Today, the figures show a decline of more than 50%,” the ministry said in a statement. “During the 14-day protests, the Ecuadorian government stopped receiving about $ 120 million.”

The ministry said vandalism, the seizure of oil wells and the closure of roads had hampered the transportation of essential goods.

Prior to the protests, oil production was about 520,000 barrels per day.

The state oil sector, private flower and dairy producers, tourism and other businesses lost about $ 500 million, the production ministry said.

Quito residents complained of crop shortages, and Lasso said hospitals in Cuenca on Sunday were suffering from a lack of oxygen.

CONAIE reports that five protesters were killed, while the government said four civilians were killed during the protests, and two were killed in ambulances delayed due to the blockade.

Although opposition groups did not appear to have the support they needed to do so, lawmakers continued discussions on Sunday over an attempt to oust Lasson.

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Interview by Alexandra Valencia Written by Julia Symmes Cobb Edited by Nick Zieminski, Robert Birsel

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