CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Saturday June 18, 2022
President Declares State of Emergency
The indigenous-led strike against high prices has disrupted the movement of people and goods this past week, prompting president Lasso to declare a “estado de excepción" (tranlasted into state of exception, or state of emergency) in the three provinces most affected by the strike (in and around Quito mostly). The president has offered some concessions along with that, in the hopes that the disruptions can come to an end. There is little danger of any physical violence – but moving around that part of the country has become difficult.
Any people travelling through Quito airport (located well outside the main city area) on their way to Galapagos are advised to avoid going into the city until the strike has come to an end. You may find yourself blocked and unable to continue your journey onwards. If you are booked in a Quito city hotel in the coming few days, we recommend you prepare an alternative hotel as close to the airport as possible. Some such hotels include:
- Wyndham Airport Hotel (2 minutes)
- EuroBuilding (EB) hotel (10 minutes)
Many more can be found on-line, including small boutique establishments. Before finalizing any plans, ask the hotel folks if they expect any problems getting to the airport in the coming days.
It appears that things are calmer in and around Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city, located on the coast (there are much fewer indigenous communities in the coastal areas). If possible, you may want to consider flying through Guayaquil in the coming days to avoid the worst of the disruptions.
In our experience, such disruptions happen from time to time in Ecuador (last time was in October 2019) and usually last from a week to 10 days.
CNH Tours is there to help its guests manage the situation. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions / require assistance.
BELOW: An article, translated into English (thanks mostly to Google Translate) of the main article in the El Comercio newspaper of this morning.
Lasso decrees a state of emergency in Pichincha, Cotopaxi and Imbabura due to a national strike (El Comercio newspaper)
The President of the Republic, Guillermo Lasso, announced new actions that the National Government will take regarding the national strike called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie). He did so through the national network on the night of this Friday, June 17.
Above: Typical scene with people blocking the passage of vehicles on main avenues
One of the actions that he decided to apply is: the state of exception in the provinces of Pichincha (Quito and surrounding areas), Cotopaxi (the province immediately south of Pichincha) and Imbabura (the province immediately north of Quito) as of midnight on June 17, 2022.
Additionally, "to alleviate the difficult situation of many families" he pointed out that:
- The human development bonus will be increased to USD 55.
- An emergency is declared in the public health system.
- The budget for intercultural education will be doubled
- 50% of the price of fertilizer will be subsidized for small and medium producers.
- Agricultural loans of up to USD 5,000 at 1% and a 30-year term will be provided.
- There will be no increase in diesel, gas and extra gasoline.
- There will be no privatization of public services
- Banecuador will forgive all overdue credits up to USD 3,000
- The state of exception will last 30 days.
The Executive Decree determines that the right to freedom of association and assembly is suspended in the aforementioned provinces; which limits the formation of crowds in public spaces 24 hours a day.
Curfew in Quito
Additionally, freedom of movement is restricted, so a curfew is decreed in the Metropolitan District of Quito (DMQ) from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
The President ended his speech by inviting dialogue. "United, sitting at a table, we will find solutions that alleviate the situation of Ecuadorian families."
What does the Conaie say?
On the night of Thursday, June 16, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) gave the Government an ultimatum to give answers to the list of demands demanded by the indigenous movement.
According to the indigenous leader, the Conaie rejected the dialogue until the results of the 10 petitions to the Government are made public.
Around 9:15 p.m. this Friday, June 17, Conaie issued a statement calling on its members not to allow vandalism, violence and identify infiltrators who want to generate chaos. "The protest must be carried out with a clear agenda, dignity and collective conscience," the statement said.