Ecuador’s authorities back down to avert coup d’etat

Ecuadorian authorities ran out of options and had to make concessions to calm the country to avert further ramifications, particularly for President Lenin Moreno, Igor Pshenichnikov, an expert at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), told TASS on Monday.

"It is obvious that Lenin Moreno backed down, he threw in the towel. Because what was happening in Ecuador could turn sour and simply result in riots, the situation could unfold in an unexpected way and in a very unfavorable one for Lenin Moreno," he said.

The expert highlighted the fact that the president decided to move the seat of government to the city of Guayaquil (420 km away from capital Quito), since the authorities had lost control. "Had the unrest continued and had the authorities kept on pursuing their agenda, a coup d’etat would have been likely to be staged," Pshenichnikov said.

The events in Quito show that a civil war was about to break out, the expert particularly emphasized. "They [authorities] had no other means to act but to give in to pressure," he underlined. Pshenichnikov also stressed that "Latin America already witnessed cases of public unrest leading to government resignations and coup d’etats."

On October 13, El Comercio reported that the Ecuadorian authorities had agreed to overturn the decree scrapping petrol subsidies, which prompted mass unrest across the country. In response, government’s opponents ceased their acts of disobedience. Simultaneously, Ecuador’s indigenous leaders agreed to stop their strikes and protest rallies. Agence France-Presse earlier reported that both sides had struck a deal to draft a new decree abolishing Decree 883, citing UN official in Ecuador Arnaud Peral.

On October 1, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno signed a decree eliminating subsidies on petrol and diesel. The move led to a dramatic spike in fuel prices, soaring by more than 120%. The country soon was engulfed in protests, which turned into riots in a number of cities. Following these developments, Moreno introduced a state of emergency in Ecuador.

protests Ecuador