Agreement between government and Indigenous leaders includes fuel price cut and mining restrictions
Ecuador’s government and the country’s main Indigenous group have reached an agreement to end 18 days of often-violent strikes that had virtually paralysed the country and killed at least four people.
The deal, which includes a decrease in the price of fuel and other concessions, was signed by government minister Francisco Jimenez, Indigenous leader Leonidas Iza and the head of the Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Luis Cabrera, who acted as mediator.
The agreement on Thursday sets out that gasoline prices will decrease 15c to US$2.40 a gallon and diesel prices will also decline the same amount, from $1.90 a gallon to $1.75.
The deal also sets limits to the expansion of oil exploration areas and prohibits mining activity in protected areas, national parks and water sources.
The government now has 90 days to deliver solutions to the demands of the Indigenous groups.
“Social peace will only be able to be achieved, hopefully soon, through dialogue with particular attention paid to marginalised communities, but always respecting everyone’s rights,” Cabrera said.
He went on to warn that “if state policies do not resolve the problem of the poor, then the people will rise up”.