Ecuador Indigenous group sues president over protest crackdown | Latin America

Lawsuit against President Lenin Moreno for alleged “crimes against humanity” committed during deadly protests last year.

Ecuador’s largest indigenous organization has filed a lawsuit against President Lenin Moreno and other officials over alleged crimes against humanity in protests last October in which 10 people died.

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) asked public prosecutors on Monday to investigate “crimes against humanity” because they believe the practice is “a systematic and widespread attack on the civilian population,” the lawyer said Group, Carlos Poveda, told AFP News Agency.

“We asked that there be no isolated or cumbersome investigations. We have asked that all complaints be brought together so that they can be dealt with in relation to crimes against humanity, ”Poveda said.

The government has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

The protests began in early October when Moreno cut gasoline subsidies in the country for 40 years. The cuts have more than doubled the price of diesel and increased the price of petrol by 30 percent overnight.

Moreno declared a national state of emergency that brought more riot police and army officers to the streets across the country.

Once the president moved his government from the capital Quito to the port city of Guayaquil. He finally gave in and restored the fuel subsidy.

Poveda said the lawsuit was directed against Moreno, the interior minister, the defense minister, the police chief and the control officer.

“We had filed complaints, we had told the state to investigate the events of October 2019, but this irresponsible government and the Ecuadorian judicial system were unable to answer and explain the Ecuadorian people,” CONAIE said -President Jaime Vargas told reporters.

According to the ombudsman, 10 people died, 1,340 were injured and 1,192 were arrested in the protests. The demonstrations also caused an estimated loss of $ 821 million.