Two people have died in the 10-day protest in which the government has declared an emergency in six of Ecuador’s 24 departments following violent clashes between protesters and security forces.
Around 90 civilians and 100 members of the security forces have been injured in the latest clashes, while the interior minister said that 18 officers were missing following the attack in the Amazonian city of Puyo.
President Lasso has proposed dialogue with the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which called the protests, in a bid to end the escalating violence.
Soldiers stand guard at the historical centre in Quito. Source: Getty / VERONICA LOMBEIDA/AFP via Getty Images
But Conaie leader Leonidas Iza says talks are conditional on the state of emergency being repealed and the “demilitarisation” of a public park in Quito that is a traditional rallying point for Indigenous people but is currently under the control of security forces.
In the capital Quito, Indigenous protesters occupied congress, torched the comptroller’s office and damaged public and private property.
‘Time to talk’
“Unfortunately there has been accidental loss of life, according to the information we have, and we cannot keep waiting.”
Protesters burn tyres to create a bonfire during a ninth day of protests in Ecuador against the government of President Guillermo Lasso. Source: AAP / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
An Indigenous protester died after he was “hit in the face, apparently with a tear gas bomb” on Tuesday following the “confrontation” with security forces in Puyo, a lawyer for the c told AFP.
However, the public prosecutor’s office has opened a murder investigation.
Additional reporting: AP