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Ecuadorian evangelicals call for “respectful dialogue” amidst wave of social protests

Demonstrations began with the indigenous demands for reforms, due to high inflation and unemployment. Evangelicals call to “pray for peace” in Ecuador.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus QUITO 28 DE JUNIO DE 2022 15:00 h
A demonstration in the city of Guayaquil on 16 June. / Erickmacr, Wikimedia Commons.

Over the last few weeks, hundreds of people in Ecuador have participated in mass demonstrations against the government of President Guillermo Lasso.



The protests were organized by the indigenous community to demand economic and social reforms from the government in the midst of skyrocketing inflation and unemployment.



However, the demonstrations have continued for days in the streets of Quito, with violence between the police and some groups of demonstrators.



The country was under an official state of emergency for more than a week, until Saturday 25 June. At least six people have died as a result of the unrest.



 



Vote of no confidence against the President



In addition to the difficult economic and social situation, in recent days the Union for Hope, a party loyal to former president Rafael Correa, has presented a vote of no confidence against Lasso.



“If Lasso had any responsibility and patriotic love, he would put his position under consideration”, said. Correa



Although analysts believe the motion is unlikely to succeed, in recent hours it seems that the political arm of the indigenous peoples and the Social Christian Party might support the proposal, which could complicate the President's future.





[photo_footer]At least six people have died in the demonstrations / The blog of Jota, Wikimedia Commons. [/photo_footer] 


 



Fuel cost reduction, price control and job creation



The protests were started by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), demanding, above all, a reduction in the price of fuel, control of prices, the guarantee of a fair price for agricultural products, and the creation of jobs, among other things.



Our demands must not be confused with a political act of destabilisation”, pointed out Conaie leader Leonidas Iza, who was recently arrested and later released.



So far, Lasso's response has been to reduce fuel prices by ten cents a litre, although according to AFP news agency, the cost of diesel had almost doubled and petrol had risen by about eighty cents.



They have also announced the cancellation of debt on overdue loans of up to $3,000 by the State Development Bank and a new line of aid for farmers with long-term, low-interest loans.



 



Evangelicals: “We have always been advocates for peace”



The Ecuadorian Evangelical Confraternity, the main evangelical representative body in the country and a member of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), has made several public calls to “pray for peace” in Ecuador.



In a statement issued by its president, Estuardo López, they call on “the opposing parties to put aside personal or group attitudes and promote respectful dialogue to maintain peace, harmony and respect”.



They also ask that “all actions be within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic and human rights; violence and disrespect are condemned at all times, wherever they come from”.



In its statement, the Confraternity quotes Matthew 5:9 and stresses that “evangelicals are and have always been advocates for peace. We ask Christians and the people in general to pray fervently and permanently in favour of peace”.


 

 


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