A delegation of victims of the April 2016 coastal earthquake are in Quito demanding a meeting with President Lenin Moreno about what they consider the slow pace of recovery efforts.
“Where is the help the government promised us?” Jorge Iglesias asked Monday outside the presidential palace. He was a member of a group of Manabi and Esmeraldas province civic leaders who are asking to meet with Moreno to discuss earthquake recovery efforts.
“[Former president] Correa said it was a national priority to help rebuild the coast but we see only small benefits,” says Iglesias. “The economy on the coast is very bad and we need the help that was promised and we need it soon.”
Members of the coastal group point to the law of co-responsibility and solidarity passed shortly after the earthquake as one of the promises made. “What happened to the two percent VAT tax for our area and money from the extra day’s salary that was donated by all Ecuadorians?” Iglesias asks. “We are not seeing it.”
Iglesias and other coastal leaders say a meeting three months ago with Vice President María Vicuña has produced no results. Vicuña is in charge of reconstruction efforts.
“The time for talk is long past,” Iglesias says. “We need to see the action that was committed to us.”