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HRW urges Ecuador to investigate protesters and security forces for violence during protests

MADRID, Oct. 12 (EUROPE PRESS) –

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Ecuadorian authorities to investigate and hold members of security forces who responded with “excessive force” during anti-government protests, as well as protesters who committed “serious acts of violence “.

“The Ecuadorian authorities must carry out rapid, thorough and impartial investigations into allegations of the use of excessive force by security forces and violations of due process, as well as violence by protesters,” said the HRW director for the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco.

HRW urges Ecuador to investigate protesters and security forces for violence during protests
HRW urges Ecuador to investigate protesters and security forces for violence during protests

“Accountability is key to guaranteeing victims' rights to justice and is an effective deterrent to abuse,” he added.

According to HRW, the Ecuadorian Police has launched tear gas “indiscriminately” against protesters, in some cases in enclosed spaces or from a distance close enough to cause injuries.

Also, the organization has indicated that the protesters have acted “violently” throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, attacking the police, burning military vehicles and looting and destroying buildings.

The origin of the protests is the economic reform announced by Moreno on October 1 as a result of the agreement reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to achieve an injection of 4.2 billion dollars for the country.

The riots broke out two days later with clashes between police and military and looting, which led Moreno to declare the state of emergency, which initially had to be in force 60 days but the Constitutional Court reduced it to 30.

The president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, has offered dialogue, but clarifying that he will not recover the fuel subsidy, the most controversial measure popularly known as “package”. As a counterpart, he has been willing to agree with the protesters what the money saved will go to, proposing a rural development plan.

Demonstrators, on the other hand, require as a requirement to sit at the negotiating table that the Government recover public aid for gasoline and diesel, which now add other demands that include the cancellation of the agreement with the IMF and the cessation of the Interior and Defense Ministers.

At least five people have died, although Government, indigenous and Ombudsman differ in this fact, dozens have been injured and hundreds have been arrested, including several foreigners, many of them Venezuelans.

Moreno has directly accused his predecessor and once ally, Rafael Correa, and his partners, including Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, of orchestrating the protests in a “coup d'etat.” Both have denied it.

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