President Lenin Moreno has imposed a night curfew near government buildings s well as vital infrastructure such as airports and oil refineries. after protesters clashed with security forces inside Ecuador’s heavily guarded parliament.
Thousands of indigenous people, some carrying long sticks, converged on Ecuador’s capital as anti-government protests and clashes led the president to move his besieged administration out of Quito, before being driven back with tear gas.
Earlier Tuesday, protesters broke through police barriers and some entered the empty congress building in Quito. Police fired tear gas and forced them to retreat.
They are demanding an end to austerity and the return of fuel subsidies.
Petrol prices have soared by more than 100% since last Thursday when the subsidies were removed.
Moreover, the unrest has forced President Lenin Moreno to move the government out of the capital.
Moreno met with Cabinet ministers in Guayaquil on Tuesday after moving government operations there from Quito.
The president said on a local television, he was the target of a coup attempt, but would not back down from his decision to cut subsidies contributing to huge public debt that soared before he took office.
Protests erupted last Thursday when the government cut fuel subsidies here as part of a package of reforms, in keeping with a $4.2 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.
President Moreno declared a state of emergency last week but has failed to end protests led by indigenous groups.