Ecuador’s army took to the streets after President Lenín Moreno ordered the first 24-hour curfew in decades in response to a day of attacks on government buildings and media offices. By Saturday night, soldiers had retaken control of the park and streets leading to the National Assembly and the national comptroller’s office, which had been broken into by protesters who lit fires inside the building. Moreno said the military would enforce the round the clock curfew in Quito and around critical infrastructure like power stations and hospitals in response to the day’s violence. It was the first such action imposed since a series of coups in the 1960s and ’70s. “We are going to restore order in all of Ecuador,” Lenín Moreno said. Late Saturday night, Moreno announced some possible concessions in an economic package that was opposed by many Ecuadorians. But he didn’t retract his decision to remove fuel subsidies, a step that triggered the nationwide protests and clashes. Moreno said his government would address some concerns of protesters, studying ways to ensure resources reach rural areas and offering compensation for those who lost earnings because of the recent upheaval. “We’ll negotiate with those who have decided to do so,” Lenín Moreno said in remarks broadcast on radio and television. “The process is moving forward and I hope to give you good news soon, because different organizations and sectors have confirmed their willingness to talk.” For many in Ecuador, which had become one of the safest and most stable
Ecuador in 2017 gave Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a diplomatic post in Russia but rescinded it after Britain refused to give him diplomatic immunity, according to an Ecuadorean government document. “Special designation” refers to the Ecuadorean president’s right to name political allies to a fixed number of diplomatic posts even if they are not career diplomats.