Correistas threaten national protests
Supporters of former president Rafael Correa say they will launch a campaign of “militant resistance” to protest the policies of the government of President Lenin Moreno. Former foreign minister Ricardo Patiño said Correa supporters will block highways and access to public buildings to “combat the repressive and illegal actions of the current government.” Patiño called on supporters to gather at the National Court of Justice in Quito November 7 when judges announce their decision whether to proceed with the kidnapping trial involving former national assemblyman Fernando Balda.
Prosecutors have charged Correa with masterminding the alleged kidnapping that occurred in Colombia. “We have remained quiet for too long in the face of repression, but no more,” he said. “We are not afraid — they can take us prisoner if they want.”
In response to Patina’s threat, Minister of the Interior María Paula Romo said that the government would act decisively to maintain public order. “We welcome protesters who peaceably express their opinions,” she said. “However, those who attempt to create chaos and cause damage in public places will be detained or persecuted.”
Ecuador extends refugee emergency status
The government has extended the state of emergency in three provinces due to the high number of Venezuelans entering the country. Director of Ecuador’s migrant affairs office, Jorge Icaza, says that pressures on government services in Carchi, El Oro and Pichincha provinces necessitates the extension. He said the influx of refugees has dropped from the 5,000-per-day levels of mid-August but that it remains “very high.”
Foreign Affairs Minister José Valencia says that almost a million Venezuelans have entered Ecuador since late 2016 and that 230,000 and 250,000 remain. The United Nations estimates that 2.3 million have left Venezuela since 2016, with a million currently living in Colombia.
20 Cuenca bars and restaurants shut down by SRI
Ecuador’s Internal Revenue Service (SRI) has closed 20 Cuenca bars and restaurants since last week, citing them for a variety of tax violations. Most of the businesses posted with “Clausurado” signs are in the historic district.
According to SRI, the violations were for non-payment to the government of IVA taxes or for not issuing receipts to customers. For first-time offender, closures are for seven days. Repeat offenders face longer closure periods or permanent suspension of business licenses.