Ecuador's president agrees to fuel subsidy deal in order to end weeks of violent protest that left 7 people dead

ecudaor protestsDemonstrators run to throw a molotov cocktail to the Comptroller General's Office building during the 10th day of a protest over a fuel price hike ordered by the government to secure an IMF loan, in Quito on October 12, 2019. - The indigenous umbrella group CONAIE rejected an offer of direct talks from President Lenin Moreno to end the protests on the grounds that &quotthe dialogue that he's seeking lacks credibility," as reported on a statement, adding that it would negotiate with the government only when a decree to remove fuel subsidies has been &quotrepealed."RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP via Getty Images

  • Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno and leaders of the country's indigenous population reached an agreement on Sunday night to end nearly two weeks of violent protests that have brought the country to a standstill and left seven people dead.
  • Protests began earlier this month over a package of economic measures backed by the International Monetary Fund as part of a $4.2 billion loan.
  • Fuel prices in the country skyrocketed in response to the austerity measure, leading transportation unions, labor groups, human rights organizations, and student protesters to mobilize protesters.
  • According to Reuters, the unrest was the worst seen in the country in over a decade. At least seven people were killed, hundreds were wounded, and over 1,000 people were arrested.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno and leaders of the country's indigenous population reached an agreement on Sunday night to end nearly two weeks of violent protests that have brought the country to a standstill and left seven people dead.

According to CBS News, Moreno announced the deal just before 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Under the agreement, Moreno will revoke Decree 883, a package of economic measures backed by the International Monetary Fund as part of a $4.2 billion loan. Measures included rolling back fuel subsidies in place for decades, removing some import tariffs, and cutting certain social benefits.

Moreno urged the country's indigenous leaders to call off weeks of protests that have crippled the country's economy.

"Comrades, a deal is compromise on both sides," Moreno said in a televised broadcast. "The indigenous mobilization will end and Decree 883 will be lifted."

Ecuador protestsA demonstrator clashes with riot police as thousands march against Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno's decision to slash fuel subsidies, in Quito on October 9, 2019. - Unions and other groups alongside thousands of farmers and indigenous people are expected in the streets of the capital Quito. Protests and clashes erupted in Ecuador a week ago, after the government doubled fuel prices as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to obtain loans despite its high public debt.MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images

The two sides said they would continue to work together on drafting cost-cutting measures that will reduce Ecuador's debt.

"A solution for peace and for the country: the government will substitute Decree 883 for a new one that has mechanisms for directing the resources to the people who need it the most," Moreno wrote on Twitter.

Protests began on October 2, the day after Moreno announced the measures which sent fuel prices in the country skyrocketing.

Transportation unions, labor groups, human rights organizations, and student protesters took to the streets and brought the country to a standstill. Moreno declared a national state of emergency in just hours after protests began.

ecuador protestsDemonstrators clash with riot police during a protest over a fuel price hike ordered by the government to secure an IMF loan, in Quito on October 11, 2019MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images

Riot police and army personnel were deployed and used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds that gathered in the capital of Quito and other cities. Protesters, in turn, threw rocks, bricks, and molotovs cocktails at authorities.

On Saturday, Moreno put in place an indefinite curfew in Quito and the surrounding areas.

According to Reuters, the unrest was the worst seen in the country in over a decade. At least seven people were killed, hundreds were wounded, and over 1,000 people were arrested, Reuters said, citing the ombudsman's office.

ecuador protestsA demonstrator wrapped in an Ecuadorean flag gestures during clashes with riot police outside the national assembly (background) in Quito on October 8, 2019 following days of protests against the sharp rise in fuel prices sparked by authorities' decision to scrap subsidies. - Thousands of demonstrators converged on the Ecuadoran capital Quito on Tuesday as intensifying protests against soaring fuel prices slashed oil output by a third and forced under-fire President Lenin Moreno to vacate his government headquarters.MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images

Arnaud Peral, the representative of the United Nations in Ecuador, said the agreement was an "extraordinary step" for the country after weeks of violence.

"The moment of peace, of agreement, has come for Ecuador," Peral said, according to CBS News.

Following the announcement, people lit fireworks in Quito and honked their horns in celebrations, Reuters said.

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