Anti-government protesters will take to the streets this afternoon
Despite a plea from President Rafael Correa to suspend today’s national protests against the government, organizers say marches and rallies will go on as planned. Correa asked for the suspension in respect of the 22 military personnel who died in a plane crash on Tuesday.
The protests have been organized by indigenous, labor, retiree, and university faculty and student organizations, among others, to protest reforms to Ecuador’s labor laws currently being considered by the National Assembly. The groups say the reforms favor business and government at the expense of workers.
Some protesting organizations are also voicing opposition to changes in funding for the Social Security system, government control of water supplies in rural areas, and proposed mining projects.
In Cuenca, protesters will gather at 5 p.m. at Parque San Blas and march west on Simon Bolivar for a rally in Parque Calderon.
Members of Correa’s Alianza Pais party say they may hold a counter-demonstration in support of the government but details had not been determined by Wednesday night. “We support the current administration and want people to know that the protesters do not represent the feelings of all the citizens,” Pais member and Cuenca city councilman Xavier Barrera said on Wednesday.
In addition to the afternoon march and rally, government opponents plan several other protest events throughout the day although they offered no specifics.
Correa, who had ordered a period of mourning for the plane crash victims, asked protesters to delay their activities “out of respect for the dead.”