Ecuadorians launch national strike
Indigenous and other Ecuadorians launched a Paro National (national strike) on June 13 against neoliberal policies which has caused them much hardship. Led by the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas (Conaie), a federation of indigenous peoples in Ecuador, thousands blockaded streets to prevent the movement of vehicles and people. They paralyzed more than 20 major roads.
Among their demands is for the state to lower and maintain low oil prices (the country produces oil locally), subsidies for the poor and other reforms which go against the dictates of the International Monetary Fund.
On June 14, the state illegally arrested Leonardo Iza, Coanie president, and detained him for 24 hours. On June 19, Ecuador president Lasso Guillermo declared a “state of exception” in three provinces where protests are strongest.