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LatinNews Daily - 14 June 2021

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In brief: Indigenous protests call for solutions to Ecuador’s economic crisis

* Protests by indigenous groups have been held in the Ecuadorean province of Cotopaxi to demand the resolution of the country’s economic crisis and to oppose any structural reforms proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Leonidas Iza, the leader of the Movimiento Indígena de Cotopaxi (MIIC) indigenous organisation, said that the protests were not against the new government led by President Guillermo Lasso, but were intended to raise awareness in the government of the economic struggles faced by the country’s poor and indigenous communities during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Protesters called for a debt repayment moratorium, economic incentives for farmers and small-scale producers, and the return of fuel subsidies that were cancelled under Lasso’s predecessor, Lenín Moreno (2017-2021). The protests will serve as a reminder to Lasso of the importance of increasing economic opportunities for Ecuador’s indigenous people, who wield significant influence over his government due to the alliance between the indigenous Pachakutik party and Lasso’s Movimiento Creo in the national assembly, and who nearly derailed Moreno’s government in 2019 with massive anti-austerity protests.