Posted: Nov 11, 2021 02:20 GMT
The president called for a joint effort to get out of the crisis and warned: “I don’t think the path is violence.” The parties were given a maximum period of 21 days to negotiate.
The president of Ecuador resumed this Wednesday the dialogue with the social and indigenous organizations that have starred in the recent days of protest in the country, mainly due to the rise in fuel prices, without the parties being able to settle differences.
With the presence of the head of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), Leónidas Iza, and other leaders of the popular sphere, the meeting took place behind closed doors at the Palacio de Carondelet, the seat of government located in the capital, Quito.
According to local media El Telégrafo, the main demand raised by social representatives was that the price of gasoline be lowered, as part of a total of six points on the agenda for discussions.
After a debate that lasted about six hours, progress was made on issues related to the payment of productive loans, bilingual intercultural education and price control for agricultural inputs.
“Dialogue and the resolution of differences, in an environment of peace and tranquility, is essential, and not to expose public and private assets to violence or acts that could endanger the life and health of Ecuadorians. (…) I do not believe that the way is violence and in return the public force, “said Lasso at the beginning of the meeting, reported the newspaper El Comercio.
What about the price of fuel?
In mid-October, Lasso suspended the monthly increase in the price of fuel, which had been in force since last year, but before it applied an increase of 21 cents per gallon, in the case of diesel, and of five cents in the cost of the gas.
Thus, the price was set at $ 2.55 for a gallon of extra gasoline and $ 1.90 for diesel, costs that social movements considered too high.
Conaie asks the Executive to return to the rates in force in June. That is, at $ 1.50 a gallon for diesel and $ 2.10 for extra gasoline.
“The president has responded that he understands the problem and that he would like to lower the price of fuel, but circumstances do not allow it“, said the president’s spokesman, Carlos Jijón, at a press conference.
The parties agreed to continue negotiations with a period of between 15 and 21 days.
This Wednesday was the second call by the Government to the organizations that mobilized and blocked some roads before November 2, when it was decided to suspend the protests for the Day of the Dead holiday.
The first meeting took place on October 4 and ended without an agreement on gasoline, an issue that continues to strain relations with indigenous sectors and agricultural producers.