Ecuador National Strike of 2022

Article

July 1, 2022

The demonstrations in Ecuador of 2022, also known as Paro Nacional en Ecuador de 2022, were a wave of mobilizations at the national level carried out from June 13 to 30, 2022, called by various social organizations, mainly by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), in opposition to the policies of the government of Guillermo Lasso.[28] The mobilizations take place after the first year of the Lasso government, during which time the price of fuel and the basic family basket has increased considerably;[29] in addition to the security crisis that has plagued the country since the government of Lenín Moreno.[30] Likewise, the shortage and inoperability of the public health system are highlighted.[31] The government denounced that the protests promoted by the indigenous movement are an attempted "coup d'état"[32] and that, according to claims, supposed groups of vandals who practice acts of "terror" have infiltrated.[33][ 34] Instead, Assemblyman Fernando Villavicencio previously formally denounced acts of terrorism before Attorney General Diana Salazar, within the framework of the national strike, a complaint he filed against the demonstrations.[21][35] ​[36]​

Background

Guillermo Lasso assumed the presidency on May 24, 2021, after his victory in the 2021 presidential elections, representing the CREO-PSC alliance. During the electoral campaign, he presented a government plan focused on job creation, promising that through the opening of the market and relaxation of hiring, it will be possible to create 2 million new jobs in the country, promote foreign investment, economic liberalization, greater association between the public and private sectors, economic reactivation through tax reduction, implementation of free zones, concession of the management of public companies to the private sector, fight against corruption and guarantee a better health service coordinated by his vice-presidential candidate Alfredo Borrero through the concession of these services to the private sector.[37][38]​ The Lasso government and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) held a first meeting in June 2021. In said meeting, the indigenous organization handed over to the Vice Minister of Government, Homero Castanier, a list of proposals, among which was present the freezing of fuel prices; For its part, the Government proposed the targeting of subsidies (something that has not materialized so far). [39] After almost two months of waiting, without receiving any response, on August 4, 2021, the president of the Conaie, Leonidas Iza, through a press conference, insisted that the Government attend to his requests.[40] Thus, a second meeting between the Government and the indigenous movement took place on August 20, although without major results.[41] Despite the campaign promises, the GDP for the year 2021 registered an increase of just 4.2%,[42] a figure lower than most countries in Latin America, with less than two percentage points below the average in that country. region.[43] In addition, by 2022, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates a growth of the Ecuadorian economy of only 2.7%[44] It is thus that the poverty rate in the country rose from 27.7% in December 2021,[45] to 29.7% in May 2022.[44] To this indicator is added the increase in the cost of the basic family basket to 735.15 USD, the highest value in history, while the unified basic salary is just 425 USD; therefore, ECLAC predicts an even greater growth in poverty levels in Ecuador.[44] To comply with the agreement with the International Monetary Fund,[46] Lasso applied a p