Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno declared a state of emergency on Thursday as protesters hurled stones and erected burning barricades after the end of decades-old fuel subsidies as part of a $2 billion government fiscal reform package.
Police responded with tear gas in the worst unrest for years in the oil-producing Andean nation.
“Down with the package!” demonstrators shouted, referring to measures enacted this week as Moreno puts Ecuador on a centrist, market-friendly path after years of leftist rule.
With the fuel subsidy cut taking effect on Thursday, taxi, bus and truck drivers blocked streets from early morning in the highland capital Quito and in Guayaquil on the Pacific coast.
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