June 3, 2023

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National strike in Ecuador | “Everything is too expensive”: Protests leave scarcity and rotten food in Ecuador | William Lasso | கோனே | Tribes | Leonidas Isa | In Guayaquil | The world

Where there was an abundance, today there are markets with empty shelves. No matter how rotten the pepper falls into the hands. Two-week struggles against high cost of living They attack traders and consumers.

“The situation is difficult because there is no one to bring food from (Antian) Sierra”AFP Rosa tells a tribal woman she wanted to avoid her last name and has been selling vegetables at a market in Guayaquil (southwest) for 15 years.

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In the second city Ecuador The country’s port and trading center – Andean dishes such as potatoes and corn (soft corn) are scarce on June 13 due to the initiative of the Confederation of Powerful Indigenous Peoples (Conai, from left).

Roadblocks, which have punished more than half of the country’s 24 provinces, are affecting the only wholesale market food exchange terminal in Guayaquil.

Protesters marched on Saturday, the thirteenth day of anti-government protests in Ecuador. (EFE / Jose Jocom).

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Every day, 3,000 trucks came down the hill to that supply center, but now 70% have not arrived due to road closures.

Shortages pushed up food prices and affected consumers who had difficulty getting gas for eggs, poultry or household use delivered in 15kg containers.

Dozens of police and riot police stand guard during a national strike called by the Ecuadorian Federation of Indigenous Peoples.  (EFE / Jose Jocom).
Dozens of police and riot police stand guard during a national strike called by the Ecuadorian Federation of Indigenous Peoples. (EFE / Jose Jocom).

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“Everything is very expensive. Before they sold me a pound of tomatoes for 50 bucks, it now costs $ 1, ”says Silvana Guimi, a housewife from Guayaquil.

Nearly 14,000 indigenous people are fighting in the country for relief of the high cost of living that is exacerbating poverty in their regions. Demands are in the range to reduce fuel prices and control the prices of agricultural products. Farmers claim to be harvesting at a loss.

Markets were closed

With less than 300 kilometers to the northeast, the capital’s markets are a shadow of the splendor of other eras. In Quito alone, about 10,000 tribes are mobilizing daily against the government of right-wing Guillermo Lasso.

Mariana Morales has not opened her store in the popular Santa Clara north of the city for almost a week, and her products are starting to deteriorate.

In a place once overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables, there are empty trays and tar-covered stalls.

Due to the proximity of the protest sites, the market was closed for four days and did not reopen on Saturday.

“The pepper was flamingo, now you see, it’s already lost,” says Morales, dipping his fingers in the rotten material.

Access to Quito was intermittently blocked, while local authorities arranged for measures to prevent protesters from holding trucks with food.

Seventeen soldiers were injured in an attack on an army guard guarding a food parade on the outskirts of the capital on Thursday.

The government estimates that civil strife will cost $ 50 million a day.

A government supporter holds a reading board "Throw out" On June 25, 2022, in the north of Ecuador, during a demonstration demanding peace.  (RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP).
On June 25, 2022, a government supporter held up a sign reading “Isa Out” during a peace demonstration in northern Quito, Ecuador. (RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP)

Three times the price

Morales did not go to wholesale markets and stockpile due to high prices and lack of public transportation amid the protests.

“For a carrot bag that used to cost $ 25, now 100 people are asking,” he complains.

It pays a 69-year-old woman a “conscience fee” to ask for a dollar for a long onion branch, ten bundles of 50 coins.

Items coming from the beach come through the roof itself. 12 bananas, which cost a dollar, doubled in price when available.

“We are in a banana country, and because of this situation (protests) it will cost an arm and a leg,” said Augustine Pasmino, 56, of Quito.

He looks pained in the face and assures that food prices have risen further since petrol prices last rose in October.

In one year, diesel is up 90% and super petrol is up 46%.

The government maintains that reducing them at the request of the tribe would cost the state more than $ 1,000 million in subsidies a year.

Lasso laments that “in the campaign we were made to see heaven, but we live in hell (…) I voted for the very few, and it got worse”.

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