The minister of the Interior, patrick carillodenounced this Wednesday that three police officers were arrested by protesters in the Amazon town of Puyo, while the fate of 18 others is unknown in incidents in which a protester died on Tuesday and a police unit was set on fire.
At a press conference, Carillo said that in Puyo “People in a state of drunkenness generated huge crowds that did not allow people to take care of themselves in terms of health, passing ambulances, food. The shortage in the city was already reaching intolerable levels.
Around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, he said, two groups formed: one asking for dialogue and the other “radical, from different Quichua and Shuara communities of the place who, in absolutely irrational acts, with explosives, ancestral weapons and carbine-type firearms, began to attack civilian and police personnel”.
During this confrontation, one person died, noted Carrillo, noting that the police asked that “in transparency” and in an independent manner, the investigation be carried out. autopsy to determine the cause of death.
On Tuesday evening, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Confeniae) denounced the death of Byron Guatatuca during the demonstrations in Puyo. The Conpheniaea branch of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) – calling for the protests that began ten days ago – assured that the victim was shot at close range and blamed the event on the government.
During the press conference, the minister added that a mob had set fire to the police premises in the center of Puyo. “It’s no longer a riot, it’s a criminal act”, said blaming, among others, the native chief Marlon Vargas who – according to the minister – “He inflamed communities with his absolutely radical stance”.
He added that the clashes in Puyo had left “one deceased, six police officers injured with severe trauma and with pellets; three police officers detained by this community. There are 18 police officers missing.
According to Carrillo, one of the police officers was arrested “While he was transferred by ambulance to a more complex hospital for his injuries.”
La Conaie, the main organizer of the social mobilization that has been taking place since Monday, June 13, denounced an abuse of repression against the demonstrations by the police and the military. The government of President Guillermo Lasso has declared itself in a state of exception to the Andean provinces of Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua and Chimborazo, as well as the Amazonian province of Pastaza, in their eagerness to contain the indigenous mobilization that took root in Quito.
Carrillo assures that there are radical groups in the demonstrations and denounced “Terrorist actions like quenching cables on the main roads (like) the airport, on the Ruta Viva, on the Middle of the World road, where we already had bikers who were almost split by these cables crossed on the tracks . “
According to the minister, demonstrators have also used explosives during the demonstrations, while there are also “common law offenders” who intend to extort money from people on the roads, taking advantage of the chaotic situation, he said.
“It all has to do with this so-called social protest, which goes further and has already been identified as having political interests in breaking democracy,” pointed out a day after Defense Minister Luis Lara warned that “Ecuadorian democracy is under serious threat due to the concerted action of fanatical people who prevent the free movement of the majority of Ecuadorians.”