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Protesters defy Covid-19 health restrictions to march in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca

Protesters march in Guayaquil Tuesday morning.

Demonstrators defied coronavirus safety restrictions to stage protests in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca on Monday and Tuesday against President Lenin Moreno’s drastic economic measures to tackle the country’s economic crisis.

Moreno last week announced deep public spending cuts including the closure of state-owned companies and embassies around the world, but trade unions Monday said workers were paying a disproportionate price compared to Ecuador’s elite. Students joined the protests, objecting to a proposed 10 percent budget cut to higher education.

“This protest is because the government is firing workers to avoid making the rich pay,” Mecias Tatamuez, head of the county’s largest union, the United Workers Front (FUT), told reporters at a march in Quito. Around 2,000 people marched in the capital, waving flags and banners and shouting anti-government slogans.

In Cuenca, most protesters observed social distancing rules.

Although most protesters wore masks, few appeared to respect distancing measures recommended against the spread of the coronavirus that has caused at least 3,200 deaths in the country, making it South America’s worst hit nation, per capita. Authorities say more than 2,000 further deaths are likely linked to the virus.

In Guayaquil, 3,000 labor union marchers defied social distancing rules and were pushed back by police at several points although no violence was reported.

Protests were more orderly in Cuenca, where several hundred supported various causes including university funding, payment for doctors as well the rights of workers. The governor of Azuay Province, Xavier Martinez, met with students and doctors, who say they have not been paid for their services. The governor promised payment to the doctors and said the issue of higher education funding was in the hands of the national Constitutional Court.

Ecuador’s indigenous movement has so far not been involved in protests and the elimination of fuel subsidies has not appeared to be an issue. Indigenous organizations staged a nationwide strike in October 2019 that effectively closed the country for three weeks until Moreno backed down on the subsidy issue.

15 thoughts on “Protesters defy Covid-19 health restrictions to march in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca

  1. This is not the time or the place.
    Watch for an increase in Covid-19 in 2 weeks from now.
    I always thought the goal of a labour union was to protest people.

    There are so many businesses going bankrupt and people that can not feed their families, have no jobs, have no stimulus or relief money that one has to ask the main question… is putting your life in danger because of a 10% cut at the university worth it. Maybe the people protesting should ask those that contracted Covid-19, and struggling to take a breath and suffering from the complications of this horrible virus, if 10% is worth it.

    As for the doctors…they SHOULD GET PAID but I would venture to guess that they have enough money in their bank accounts to feed their family. I would rather see the doctors at the hospitals and clinics than out on the street protesting DURING a PANDEMIC especially since their are so many going hungry now .

    1. How many soup and sandwich feeding stations could be put in place with the millions of dollars being wasted on the tram?

    2. I find you to be a good person but I am concerned about your fear of an over hyped virus which will negatively impact your immune system and make you more prone to contracting the disease. The best thing to do is get herd immunity which means mingle with the masses because a vaccine is not the answer. BTW this is a plandemic not a pandemic. It amazes me how compliant people have become over an infection that has around a 98% recovery rate. Where were the draconian edicts like wearing a mask and social distancing during the SARS and swine flu epidemics? None, why this one?

  2. Maybe instead of firing workers they should let them work for 35-50% less that would be good. Same budget more workers not doing anything. My guess is that rich people and jobs are more mobile than workers, too bad they don’t see it that way.

    I hope those protesters stayed out past curfew, then they can get fined as well as being stupid.

    1. Stupid? At least there are a few willing to demonstrate the courage of their convictions, not like the docile gringos watching it all from their armchairs and collecting the benefits of a Third World country.

      1. Easy does it Mystical Rose (any relation to Rose Red?)… if it weren’t for the “docile gringo’s watching it all from their armchairs” there would be a lot of Cuencanos planting things in the spring and picking it all in the fall. Breaking news: “The docile gringos watching it all from their armchairs” give a large segment of Cuencanos a very good living.

  3. Good thing that they will only hurt themselves instead of bystanders, business or set buildings on fire, as everything is shut down and the economy has already gone down the drainage. Bad thing they’ll probably hurt their families and friends by spreading the virus to them after they return home

  4. According to the Lancet, What has become clear is that this covid thing is actually a blood clotting/hypoxic issue that affects the lungs —- hence people having very low oxygen levels and needing meds that will open up the cells so they can take in oxygen (that HCQ stuff). It is not a respiratory disease. so fear of droplets is unnecessary despite unscientific MSM fear mongering.

    In all cases, it is not the “germ” but rather the immunity levels of the individual which depends on overall nutrition and health. Worry and fear can lower immunity.

    Wearing Masks just means you are rebreathing your own carbon dioxide and germs and are lowering your oxygen levels (at altitude of course) and the social distancing idea means that the normal ways that people build immunity which is by contact with others is being limited and by default, actually lowering their immunity. Getting around people now means the herd immunity can be completed much more quickly and reduce future serious illness. The virus is mutating and as it mutates it becomes weaker with much milder symptoms (true for all viruses).

    The peak of this thing in EC was 6 weeks ago (mid April) (actually the global peak). In addition, what is clear from all the graphs/epidemiologists is that the number of people that will be affected is static — it is a matter of whether they are “infected” all at once or whether the infections are spread out over many months which is what social isolation and lock downs do with resulting economic devastation, no medical care for other issues, poverty and hunger. The death rate from the aftermath of this plandemic will be magnitudes higher than the deaths from “it”.

    lastly, the nose swab test was never created to be a diagnostic test per the inventor and tests RNA samples which can be read in multiple ways depending on how much the reagents are diluted. So more “positives” means who knows what — are they sort of symptomatic with a cold which is a corona virus all its own or are they seriously hypoxic and unable to breath and need a hospital bed. Rapid tests are helpful however are the antibodies seen as a good thing even though who knows what the antibodies really are in reaction to since there are lots of corona viruses floating around the planet or is it a concern if there are no antibodies — which can occur in lots of people.

    Time to be done with the fear and get on with life unless you have multiple comorbidities in which case, take appropriate precautions and get back to living.

  5. The fear the authorities have instilled in the people, and the setting of people against each other, is far worse than the virus could ever be. The freedom to speak, to express, to worship, and to work are fundamental and should not be suspended. What sort of society do you want? Is China a good model for those who condemn the protesters?

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