A crowd estimated at 300 marched through the streets of Esmeraldas Thursday night protesting the death of U.S. African-American George Floyd. Some marchers carried signs accusing the Ecuadorian government of racism for not doing more to stop drug violence on the Colombian border in northern Esmeraldas Province.
Groups in Guayaquil and Quito say they also plan to stage protests, joining the growing number of international and Latin American demonstrations against police brutality and racism.
In Mexico, thousands protested outside the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, bearing signs reading “Racism kills here, there, and all over the world.” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador instructed police not to use unnecessary force in confronting the crowds. “Those who protest are promoting the credible and very important message that abuse of human beings because of their color cannot be tolerated. I support their cause and understand their outrage at the killing of George Floyd.
In Rio de Janeiro, hundreds maintained a week-long vigil outside the Guanabara Palace, headquarters of the state government, while in Sao Paulo protesters carried signs attacking President Jair Bolsonaro as well as supporting justice for Floyd.
Other Latin American protests against racism were staged in Buenos Aires, Lima, Montevideo and Bogota as officials warned them to maintain social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.