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3 Keys to Understanding the Ecuador Conflict: President Denounces Coup Attempt



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Ecuador’s National Assembly is debating the possibility of removing its president Guillermo Lasso, who recently denounced an attempted coup d’état by Correa’s supporters.

The impeachment procedure requires at least 92 votes. However, it does not seem so likely after large legislative blocks, such as the Social-Christian Party, Democratic Left, and the same block of the governing party, CREO, publicly expressed that they do not support the initiative.

The left is behind the impeachment

The discussion in the Ecuadorian Parliament arose after members of the Assembly, who support former leftist President Rafael Correa, requested the impeachment of the President in the midst of indigenous protests due to the high cost of living and some economic policies assumed by the Executive.

In the virtual session, with the attendance of 135 assembly members, the legal secretary of the Presidency, Fabián Pozo, read a letter sent by Lasso, in which the president called the request for his removal as “absolute irresponsibility” with the citizenship.

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Lasso considered that the request doesn’t comply with or justify the causes contemplated in numeral 2 of article 130 of the Constitution, invoked by the petitioners of alleged “serious political crisis and internal commotion.”

According to the President’s letter, the Assembly “has the constitutional obligation to prove and justify that two different and simultaneous conditions have occurred in order to proceed with the dismissal.”

Lasso lowers gasoline prices and repeals state of exception

This Sunday, June 26, Lasso announced that he will reduce gasoline and diesel prices by US$ 0.10 per gallon, as a concession to try to put an end to protests and road blockades in several parts of the country.

The president has already offered concessions to the protesters, including a relaxation of security measures, subsidized fertilizers, and debt forgiveness. In addition, his government met on Saturday with indigenous leaders to try to reduce tensions. However, the Assembly insists on his dismissal.

“Everyone considers that the price of fuels has become the cornerstone that maintains the conflict and although as a government we are very clear that this factor is not the one that originates the problem of Ecuadorians, we must think about the common good and citizen peace”, said Lasso after the economic announcement.

Additionally, he announced the repeal of the state of exception that he had decreed in the middle of the protests “so that Ecuadorians know that this is a democratic government that seeks peace in Ecuador.”

“If tomorrow the attempts of anarchy and violence return, we will decree again the state of exception, but we did not do it with any other purpose than to maintain peace and tranquility of Ecuadorians,” Lasso added.

But while dialogue between the parties continues, the country is suffering the consequences of the opposition protests. The oil sector is in a critical state.

“Oil production is at critical levels, today the figures show a decrease of more than 50%,” the Ministry of Energy said in a statement. “In 14 days of mobilization, the Ecuadorian state lost around US$ 120 million.”

Acts of vandalism, well seizures, and road closures have prevented the transportation of supplies needed to maintain the operation of the industry, according to the ministry.

In addition, residents of Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, complained of product shortages and Lasso said on Sunday that hospitals in Cuenca were suffering oxygen shortages.

Lasso denounces coup attempt

In an address last June 24, Guillermo Lasso assured that the leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, Leonidas Iza —who is leading the protests— wants to carry out a coup d’état, for which he warned that all legal tools will be used to contain the violence unleashed by the demonstrations.

“It has been proven that the real intention of the violent people is to generate a coup d’état, and that is why we call on the international community to warn of this attempt to destabilize democracy in Ecuador,” said Lasso.

Likewise, the Ecuadorian president summoned human rights organizations to monitor the situation and informed that “the national government will use all the legal resources that the law empowers it to confront the vandals and criminals.”

He also asked the indigenous and peasants “who have been brought to Quito under false pretenses” to return to their communities.

Lasso added that he is willing to resume dialogue to find a solution to the problems that triggered the demonstrations.

Sabrina Martín Rondon is a Venezuelan journalist. Her source is politics and economics. She is a specialist in corporate communications and is committed to the task of dismantling the supposed benefits of socialism // Sabrina Martín Rondon es periodista venezolana. Su fuente es la política y economía. Es especialista en comunicaciones corporativas y se ha comprometido con la tarea de desmontar las supuestas bondades del socialismo