After the second day of violent protests, Ecuador’s transport federations announced on Friday the suspension of the strike which was sparked by a rise in fuel prices. Violent clashes occurred in the capital Quito with hundreds of young people throwing sticks and rocks at police, who responded with pepper spray and stun grenades. Similar clashes happened in the cities of Guayaquil, Ambato and Cuenca.
National Federation of Public Transport President Abel Gómez declared at a press conference in Quito the strike was over. The industrial action shut down taxi, bus and other services forcing Ecuadorian authorities to dispatch military vehicles to ferry civilian passengers.
The government said about 350 people had been detained for blocking traffic, interrupting public services or assaulting police.
Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno, who earlier declared a state of emergency over the strike, vowed earlier Friday he wouldn’t back down on the decision to end costly fuel subsidies, which doubled the price of diesel overnight and sharply raised gasoline prices. Moreno said the subsidy has been harmful to the national economy, costing the state heavily for years.
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