Anti-government protests occurring nationwide in Ecuador are in response to an Oct. 2 decree that eliminated fuel subsidies and implemented other market reforms to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Protests in response to the decree quickly descended into clashes in several cities, including Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, and Manta, leading to over 700 arrests. Opposition leaders have said security forces injured dozens of protesters, including through the use of tear gas. Many companies, including banks, have closed due to the protests. In the event of prolonged strikes and protests, shortages of basic products including fuel are likely to continue.

In response to the state of emergency declared by the government, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) declared its own state of emergency, threatening to detain any police or military personnel who enter the indigenous territory. Clashes between security forces and indigenous groups are therefore likely. Protesters are also likely to attempt to increase the number and intensity of demonstrations in Guayaquil as government offices have been transferred to the port city.

Protests are likely to continue through mid-October, causing severe transport and commercial disruptions and sparking rioting and clashes between protesters and security forces. WorldAware is monitoring the situation closely and issuing ongoing alerts. 

 

Navigate to each of the alert updates below: 

Oct. 14: 9:50 a.m. EST | Critical AlertOperations at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito, Ecuador, returning to normal, Oct. 14, following end of curfew.

Oct. 14: 6:01 a.m. EST | Critical AlertGovernment and protesters reach an agreement late Oct. 13 to end nationwide protests. Sporadic unrest is still possible.

Oct. 13: 4:14 p.m. EST | Critical Alert | Ecuadorian authorities temporarily lift curfew in Quito until 2000 Oct. 13. Areas north of the city remain under movement restrictions.

Oct. 13: 12:43 p.m. EST | Critical AlertSignificant curfew-related flight disruptions ongoing at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 13. Confirm flights.

Oct. 12: 6:06 p.m. EST | Critical AlertAuthorities impose indefinite curfew throughout Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 12, in response to nationwide protests.

Oct. 9: 7:52 p.m. EST | Warning AlertAs of Oct. 9, further nationwide protests likely in Ecuador through mid-October. Fuel and food shortages affect some provinces.

Oct. 8: 7:51 p.m. EST | Warning Alert | Further nationwide protests likely in Ecuador through mid-October. Fuel shortages. Possible national strike, Oct. 9.

Oct. 7: 7:04 a.m. EST | Warning Alert | Indigenous activists to protest in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 7-8 as part of nationwide protests. Possible national strike Oct. 9.


Oct. 14: 9:50 a.m. EST | Critical Alert
Operations at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito, Ecuador, returning to normal, Oct. 14, following end of curfew.

 

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This alert began 14 Oct 2019 13:48 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Oct 2019 06:00 GMT.

  • Event: Flight disruptions
  • Location: Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito 
  • Time Frame: Through at least late Oct. 14

 

Summary

Operations at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito are returning to normal early Oct. 14, following the end of the government-imposed curfew. Officials at the airport reported the reopening of the terminal but said that some airlines had already canceled their scheduled flights for Oct. 14. At least 14 international flights and nine national flights departing from UIO, Oct. 14, have been canceled. Operations will likely return to normal by early Oct. 15.

 

Advice

Contact airlines for updated information concerning specific flights. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. If already at UIO, do not venture outside the facility until further notice. Heed the instructions of local law enforcement personnel.
 


Oct. 14: 6:01 a.m. EST | Critical Alert
Government and protesters reach an agreement late Oct. 13 to end nationwide protests. Sporadic unrest is still possible.

 

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This alert began 14 Oct 2019 09:59 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Political agreement
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Mid October
  • Impact: Heightened security, travel restrictions; likely celebratory gatherings; possible further protests, clashes, good shortages, commercial disruptions

 

Summary

Ecuador's government, led by President Lenin Moreno, reached an agreement with protesters, including the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Confederacion de Nacionalidades Indigenas del Ecuador, CONAIE), late Oct. 13 to end ongoing nationwide anti-government protests. The government has agreed to restore fuel subsidies, a key demand of the protesters. In Quito, local authorities have announced that public transport services will be normalized from Oct. 14. A curfew remained in place overnight but is scheduled to end at 0500 Oct. 14. It is not clear if or when the government will officially lift the curfew in Quito and other restrictions imposed in recent weeks, including a state of emergency.

While an agreement has been reached, sporadic protests remain possible nationwide over the next 24 hours. It is not clear if all protesting groups were party to the recent agreement. Further security deployments and clashes are possible. Celebratory rallies and demonstrations are likely nationwide following the deal. Gatherings were widely reported in Quito, late Oct. 13. Travel restrictions, including curfews, are likely to be relaxed in the coming hours or days if the situation continues to normalize.


 

Background and Analysis

Anti-government protests erupted in early October after the government issued a decree (Executive Decree 883), eliminating fuel subsidies. The measure was part of a series of measures aimed to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Demonstrations and clashes left at least seven people dead and hundreds more injured. Authorities also arrested hundreds of people. Protests, which resulted in major transport disruptions, impacted various cities, including Guayaquil, Duran, Quito, Cuenca, and Manta. Good shortages were also widely reported. Deliveries and stock will likely normalize in the coming days. In response, the government declared a 60-day state of emergency and curfews, Oct. 3. The government was also temporarily relocated to Guayaquil.

 

Advice

Monitor developments closely with trusted contacts. Avoid all protests and concentrations of security personnel. Heed authorities' directives, including the provision of any travel restriction, including curfews. Reconfirm all transport arrangements, including flights, through at least Oct. 15. If you encounter a roadblock, do not attempt to cross it; wait for police to reopen the roads or seek alternative routes. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a nongovernment building. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


Oct. 13: 4:14 p.m. EST | Critical Alert
Ecuadorian authorities temporarily lift curfew in Quito until 2000 Oct. 13. Areas north of the city remain under movement restrictions.

 

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This alert began 13 Oct 2019 20:13 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Temporary curfew suspension
  • Location: Quito 
  • Time Frame: 1130-2000 Oct. 13

Summary
Ecuadorian authorities have temporarily lifted the curfew imposed in Quito, Oct. 13. The curfew has been suspended between the hours of 1100 and 2000, at which time it will enter back into force. Military officials have, however, stated that some areas on the north side of the city remain under movement restrictions.

Numerous curfew-related domestic and international flight cancellations are still being reported at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) as of 1445 Oct. 13. It remains unclear how many, if any, flights will be able to depart or land before 2000 when the curfew goes back into effect.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of local law enforcement personnel and comply with the curfew orders. Contact airlines for updated information concerning specific flights. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed.


 


Oct. 13: 12:43 p.m. EST | Critical Alert
Significant curfew-related flight disruptions ongoing at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 13. Confirm flights.

 

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This alert began 13 Oct 2019 16:41 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Flight disruptions
  • Location: Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito 
  • Time Frame: Through at least Oct. 13

 

Summary

Numerous domestic and international flights at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito remain canceled as of the late morning of Oct. 13 due to the citywide curfew imposed by the government Oct. 12. Officials at the Quiport Corporation, which manages the facility, are advising passengers not to depart for the airport until further notice; the corporation is also instructing passengers already at UIO to remain inside the facility until informed otherwise, as leaving would violate the curfew. According to Quiport, the airport is open but the curfew order supersedes all flight operations.

Preliminary information suggests that scheduled flights may intermittently resume operating starting during the mid-afternoon of Oct. 13. Nevertheless, further cancellations and delays remain possible with little-to-know notice. Moreover, significant disruptions will almost certainly continue even after operations resume, as carriers clear their passenger backlogs and reposition aircraft. UIO is Ecuador's main international airport and is located approximately 20 km (12 miles) northeast of Quito.


 

Advice

Contact airlines for updated information concerning specific flights. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed and authorities have announced that the public is allowed to be outdoors. If already at UIO, do not venture outside the facility until further notice. Heed the instructions of local law enforcement personnel.
 


Oct. 12: 6:06 p.m. EST | Critical Alert
Authorities impose indefinite curfew throughout Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 12, in response to nationwide protests.

 

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This alert began 12 Oct 2019 22:04 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Strike, protests, and state of emergency
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Through mid October
  • Impact: Heightened security; transport and business disruptions; further strikes, protests likely; fuel shortages

 

Summary

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno imposed an indefinite curfew in the city of Quito and the surrounding areas starting Oct. 12. The measure went into effect at 1500; authorities have not announced specific daily start and end times for the curfew. Moreno further stated that military and police personnel will be deployed to patrol the streets of the Quito Municipal District to enforce the curfew. The order expands on an earlier curfew that applied only to the city's historic central district.

 

Background and Analysis

This new expanded curfew comes amid a nationwide wave of major anti-government protests. The demonstrations erupted in response to an Oct. 2 decree that eliminated fuel subsidies and implemented other market reforms to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. The demonstrations quickly descended into clashes in several cities, including Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, and Manta, leading to over 700 arrests. In response, the government declared a 60-day state of emergency on Oct. 3; moreover, the military imposed a 2000-0500 curfew in Quito's central historic district, as well as near key infrastructure assets, and military and governmental facilities.

The demonstrations have been particularly strong in Quito, where tens of thousands of protesters - mostly indigenous people affiliated with the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Confederacion de Nacionalidades Indigenas del Ecuador, CONAIE) - have repeatedly marched throughout the central and southern portions of the city. Protests are also occurring throughout Guayaquil and the neighboring city of Duran. Police and military personnel are deployed throughout the area.

The protests have caused major transport disruptions, with many taxi and bus companies suspending operations, and highway roadblocks throughout the country blocking traffic. The disruptions have causes scattered shortages of essential goods. In Quito, several of the large food markets were partially or fully closed Oct. 9 due to roadblocks disrupting food shipments to wholesalers. Other markets have closed due to looting fears.Moreover, the provinces of Carchi and Imbabura are experiencing gas shortages, while shortages of liquefied petroleum gas are occurring in Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, and Cotopaxi provinces. State-managed oil company Petroamazonas also announced that oil production could fall by 150,000 barrels per day as a result of the protests, which have forced the closure of multiple oilfields. The Trans-Ecuadoran Pipeline has stopped operating due to the reduced production, which may exacerbate the shortages.


 

Advice

Strictly observe all declared curfews and other emergency restrictions, if operating in areas where such measures have been imposed. Always carry proper identification. Monitor local developments closely. Avoid all protests that may materialize. Confirm private transportation. Confirm flights. Allow additional time if planning to use ground transport in major cities in Ecuador. If you encounter a roadblock, do not attempt to cross it; wait for the police to reopen the roads or look for alternative routes. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately, and seek shelter in a nongovernment building. Strictly heed the recommendations of authorities. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


Oct. 9: 7:52 p.m. EST | Warning Alert
As of Oct. 9, further nationwide protests likely in Ecuador through mid-October. Fuel and food shortages affect some provinces.

 

This alert began 09 Oct 2019 23:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

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  • Incident: Strike, protests, and state of emergency
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Through mid-October
  • Impact: Heightened security; transport and business disruptions; further strikes, protests likely; fuel shortages

 

Summary

Major anti-government protests continue throughout Ecuador, as of Oct. 9, and are likely to continue through mid October, causing severe transport and commercial disruptions and sparking rioting and clashes between protesters and security forces. Demonstrations are particularly strong in Quito, where tens of thousands of protesters, mostly indigenous people affiliated with the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Confederacion de Nacionalidades Indigenas del Ecuador, CONAIE), have repeatedly marched throughout the central and southern portions of the city. Protests near the National Assembly and the Office of the State Comptroller have been well-attended; on Oct. 8, protesters successfully stormed and occupied the National Assembly building before clashing with police.

Protests are also occurring throughout Guayaquil and the neighboring city of Duran. Police and military personnel are deployed throughout the area. Notably, police closed the Puente de la Unidad Nacional, the bridge that serves as an access point to Guayaquil from the east via Highway E40.

The protests have caused major transport disruptions, with many taxi and bus companies suspending operations, and highway roadblocks throughout the country blocking traffic. The disruptions have caused some food shortages. In Quito, several of the large food markets were partially or fully closed Oct. 9 due to roadblocks disrupting the shipment of food to wholesalers. Other markets have closed due to looting fears.

There are shortages of gasoline in the provinces of Carchi and Imbabura, and shortages of liquefied petroleum gas in the provinces of Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, and Cotopaxi. While authorities declared that there are sufficient fuel reserves to offset the shortages, the roadblocks are inhibiting their delivery. State-managed oil company Petroamazonas also announced that oil production could fall by 150,000 barrels per day as a result of the protests, which have forced the closure of multiple oilfields. As a result of the reduced production, the Trans-Ecuadoran Pipeline is inoperable, which may exacerbate the shortages.

Many companies, including banks, have closed due to the protests. The demonstrations may also strain the medical system; the Ecuadorean Red Cross announced it was suspending ambulance services and that there is a shortage of blood as a result of the protests.

In response, the government declared a 60-day 'state of emergency' from Oct. 3, although a recent court-order limits the state of emergency to 30 days. The state of emergency allows the government to mobilize police and military personnel to control demonstrations, censor the press, declare security zones, transfer government offices out of the capital, and forcibly close or open seaports, airports, and border crossings. Using these powers, the armed forces declared a 2000-0500 curfew through Oct. 13 in central Quito, which the military defines as the area bounded by Calle Caldas, Calle 24 de Mayo, Avenida Mariscal Sucre, and Avenida Pichincha. The curfew also applies to the areas around the National Assembly building, the Supreme Court of Justice, the Office of the State Comptroller, and several hospitals in Quito.

Apart from the Quito-based curfews, the military has also declared a 2000-0500 curfew in the areas around all military and police installations, telecommunications antennas, reservoirs, refineries, oilfields, dams, and electrical installations throughout the country. While the military's initial declaration included airports and seaports as areas under the curfew, it later clarified that only protesters, rather than the public at-large, were prohibited from entering airports and seaports during curfew hours.

The government has also used the state of emergency declaration to temporarily transfer the seat of government offices from Quito to Guayaquil. Government offices in Quito are therefore likely to be closed throughout the state of emergency. Protesters are likely to attempt to increase the number and intensity of demonstrations in Guayaquil now that government offices have been transferred to the port city.

In response to the state of emergency, CONAIE declared its own state of emergency, threatening to detain any police or military personnel who enter indigenous territory. Clashes between security forces and indigenous groups are therefore likely.


 

Background and Analysis

The protests are in response to an Oct. 2 decree that eliminated fuel subsidies and implemented other market reforms to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Protests in response to the decree quickly descended into clashes in several cities, including Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, and Manta, leading to over 700 arrests. Opposition leaders have said security forces injured dozens of protesters, including through the use of tear gas. In the event of prolonged strikes and protests, shortages of basic products including fuel are likely to continue.
 

Advice

Monitor local developments closely. Avoid all protests that may materialize. Confirm private transportation. Confirm flights. Allow additional time if planning to use ground transport in major cities in Ecuador. If you encounter a roadblock, do not attempt to cross it; wait for the police to reopen the roads or look for alternative routes. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately, and seek shelter in a nongovernment building. Strictly heed the recommendations of authorities. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.

 


Oct. 8: 7:51 p.m. EST | Warning Alert
Further nationwide protests likely in Ecuador through mid-October. Fuel shortages. Possible national strike, Oct. 9.

 

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This alert began 08 Oct 2019 23:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Strike, protests, and state of emergency
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Through mid October
  • Impact: Heightened security; transport and business disruptions; further strikes, protests likely; fuel shortages

 

Summary

Amid the ongoing nationwide protests in Ecuador, fuel shortages were reported in six provinces, including Imbabura, Carchi, Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, and Cotopaxi, Oct. 8, caused by roadblocks along the country's major highways. While the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Hydrocarbons (ARCH) declared that there was sufficient reserves of fuel to offset the shortages, the roadblocks were inhibiting its delivery. The country's state-run oil company, Petroamazonas, also announced on Oct. 7 that it was suspending operations in some of its oil fields due to protesters occupying their installations, which could exacerbate the shortages in the coming days.

Thousands of indigenous people affiliated with the Confederation of Indigenous Nations in Ecuador (CONAIE) protested in Quito, Oct. 8. Reports indicate that protesters successfully stormed the National Assembly building after breaking through a security cordon; clashes with security forces ensued. The action followed a self-declared "State of Exception" by CONAIE in the indigenous territories where individuals may be tried and punished outside of the state's justice system; the stated aim is to target government security forces for alleged brutality. The indigenous protests, which are likely to continue, are the latest in an ongoing anti-government action sparked by an Oct. 2 announcement by President Lenin Moreno's administration, which introduced several economic reforms, including ending decades-old fuel price subsidies.

Multiple workers unions, including the United Workers' Front (FUT), have called for an indefinite national strike from Oct. 9 as Moreno has maintained that the government will not reintroduce subsidies. It is not currently clear if transport unions will join the call to strike; however, if the strike proceeds, severe ground transport disruptions are likely to affect buses, taxis, and cargo. The action could affect flight services in the country, including at Sucre International Airport (UIO), Quito. Clashes between police and protesters are likely at any related protests.

In response to the protests, the government implemented a 60-day state of emergency from Oct. 3, which remains in place despite transport unions calling off a nationwide strike late Oct. 4. The state of emergency allows the government to mobilize police and military personnel to control demonstrations, ban unauthorized gatherings, and limit the right to move freely within the country.

Police are likely to remain deployed to potential protest sites, especially in the capital, Quito, as well as the city of Guayaquil where the government has temporarily moved its operations due to the unrest.

 

Background and Analysis

The Oct. 2 decree is part of a series of economic reforms that Moreno's government implemented to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. The fuel subsidies ended Oct. 3, resulting in protests, including demonstrators building roadblocks, in multiple cities, from Oct. 3. The protests descended into clashes in several cities, including Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, and Manta, leading to over 500 arrests. Opposition leaders have said security forces injured dozens of protesters, including through the use of tear gas.

In the event of prolonged strikes and protests, shortages of basic products including fuel are likely to continue.

 

Advice

Monitor local developments closely. Avoid all protests that may materialize. Confirm private transportation. Confirm flights. Allow additional time if planning to use ground transport in major cities in Ecuador. If you encounter a roadblock, do not attempt to cross it; wait for the police to reopen the roads or look for alternative routes. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately, and seek shelter in a nongovernment building. Strictly heed the recommendations of authorities. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.

 


Oct. 7: 7:04 a.m. EST | Warning Alert
Indigenous activists to protest in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 7-8 as part of nationwide protests. Possible national strike Oct. 9.

 

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This alert began 07 Oct 2019 11:02 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Strike, protests, and state of emergency
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Through early October
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, heightened security; further strikes, protests likely

 

 

Summary

The Confederation of Indigenous Nations in Ecuador (CONAIE) plans to lead protests in Quito once indigenous activists arrive from their respective territories, expected between Oct. 7-8. This follows a self-declared "State of Exception" by CONAIE in the indigenous territories where individuals may be tried and punished outside of the state's justice system; the stated aim is to target government security forces for alleged brutality. The protests form part of ongoing anti-government action sparked by an Oct. 2 announcement by President Lenin Moreno's administration, which introduced several economic reforms, including ending decades-old fuel price subsidies.

Multiple workers unions, including the United Workers' Front (FUT), have called for an indefinite national strike from Oct. 9, as Moreno has maintained that the government will not reintroduce subsidies. It is not currently clear if transport unions will join the call to strike; however, if the strike proceeds, severe ground transport disruptions are likely to affect buses, taxis, and cargo. The action could affect flight services in the country, including at Sucre International Airport (UIO), Quito. Clashes between police and protesters are likely at any related protests.

In response to the protests, the government implemented a 60-day state of emergency Oct. 3, which remains in place despite transport unions calling off a nationwide strike late Oct. 4. The state of emergency allows the government to mobilize police and military personnel to control demonstrations, ban unauthorized gatherings, and limit the right to move freely within the country.

Police are likely to remain deployed to potential protest sites, especially in the capital, Quito, and the city of Guayaquil, leading to localized disruptions.


 

Background and Analysis

The Oct. 2 decree is part of a series of economic reforms that Moreno's government implemented to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. The fuel subsidies ended Oct. 3, resulting in protests, including demonstrators building roadblocks, in multiple cities, Oct. 3 and 4. The protests descended into clashes in several cities, including Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, and Manta, leading to over 370 arrests. Opposition leaders have said security forces injured dozens of protesters, including through the use of tear gas.

In the event of prolonged strikes and protests, shortages of basic products are possible, especially fuel.


 

Advice

Monitor local developments closely. Avoid all protests that may materialize. Confirm private transportation. Confirm flights. Allow additional time if planning to use ground transport in major cities in Ecuador. If you encounter a roadblock, do not attempt to cross it; wait for the police to reopen the roads or look for alternative routes. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately, and seek shelter in a nongovernment building. Strictly heed the recommendations of authorities. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.

 

 

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