Ecuador’s indigenous groups will consider the government’s offer of talks.

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Ecuador’s largest indigenous group announced a temporary halt to protests against rising fuel prices on Thursday, after conservative President Guillermo Lasso offered to meet with leaders in two weeks.

This week, indigenous demonstrators protested Lasso’s decision to raise the price of gasoline extra, a cheaper gasoline that is Ecuador’s most-used fuel, to a fixed $2.55 per gallon, and diesel to $1.90 per gallon.

Protesters argue that the increased cost unfairly burdens ordinary citizens who are already struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lasso, a conservative ex-banker who took office in May, was under pressure from unions and others to freeze incremental gasoline price increases begun by his predecessor last year.

“We are going to return to our homes,” said Ecuador Confederation of Indigenous Nations president Leonidas Iza from the central province of Chimborazo, adding protests are not over.

Presidential spokesman Carlos Jijon said on Twitter that Lasso invited indigenous and union leaders to meet on Nov. 10.

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Indigenous leaders will evaluate Lasso’s invitation to talk and will decide between themselves whether or not to attend the meeting, they said.

“The acceptance will be from the people, not the leaders,” Iza said.

The indigenous protest has not received wide support across Ecuador, according to the government, which has insisted it will use security forces to maintain order.


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