Violent protests sparked a state of emergency after Ecuador’s president ended fuel subsidies, driving up the price of gas nationwide. President Lenín Moreno’s decision to kill the subsidy, which has reportedly been in place for 40 years, could raise the price of gasoline by more than 25%. Moreno’s government hopes to save billions of dollars and stimulate the economy by hiking up fuel prices, but some protesters say they can’t afford the higher costs.
“[The government] should be paying for these measures, this economic crisis,” protester Julio César stated. “The people are mired in misery. A people who are hungry are a people who fight on.”
Taxi, bus, and truck drivers blocked roads in protest and some protesters hurled stones while taking on tear gas from police.
“In order to protect citizens and avoid chaos, I have declared a state of emergency nationally,” President Moreno stated. “Friends, rights are required, without damaging those that are truly fundamental to the country’s improvement, work, education, free mobility, and the security of citizens.”