Ecuadorian police prepare a mega-operation for social protests

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The Ecuadorian Police has prepared a contingent of 47,000 troops to face a possible eruption of violence in the almost twenty marches and protests called this Thursday by the unions, to which some social groups have joined.

In a statement, the Policeman informs that the operation will be in charge of “uniformed personnel from the preventive, investigative and intelligence axes”, and will have “around 2,400 troops in what corresponds to the Metropolitan District (Quito)” and “at the national level with an approximate contingent of 47,000 police servants “.

This means almost the entire police force, which in recent days received notifications of canceling drafts and days of leave, before the eventuality of violence like the one that shook the country in the October 2019 riots.

Social protests

Pablo Rodríguez Torres, Director of Operations of the National Police, detailed to the local newspaper El Comercio that they have planned for this Thursday afternoon “17 marches nationwide, 13 seedlings, 6 possible road closures, and 4 caravans “.

The goal of this police megadevice, which would act in phases, will be “to safeguard security, public order and peaceful coexistence around the marches” announced by social, union and union groups and organizations, according to the statement.

The text also calls on all citizens “to make use of their right to demonstrate peacefully and without violence, respecting the current legal framework at all times, as well as without affecting other people and public and private property “.

Protect public services

Police have already warned that the police authority will not allow “any public service to be paralyzed, disrupt free mobility of the people, in accordance with the provisions of the law. ”In any case, Rodríguez specified that not all the agents will be on the streets, but that they would be removed in a phased operation, taking into account the evolution of the risk in each place.

The Municipality of Quito has also joined the efforts of the Police and has deployed another 2,600 metropolitan agents in various parts of the city to protect the citizen security during the day of protest that the unions have called.

The Capital City Council reported in a statement that it has decided to distribute its police force in various strategic sectors of the city due to the possibility of eventual unrest in the city.

Peaceful demonstrations

The Workers’ Unitary Front (FUT), the largest labor union in the country, called a day of mobilizations to demand the Government for its fiscal management and the wave of layoffs generated by the economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The FUT has guaranteed that its protest will be peaceful, but the government authorities have reinforced the presence of the police and the military due to the possibility of violent actions during the demonstrations, the bulk of which will be concentrated in the workers march through the streets of downtown Quito.

“No one has the right to disrespect our harmonious coexistence, worse still the patrimony of the humanity (allusion to the old town of the capital) “, assured Jorge Yunda, mayor of Quito, in a communiqué issued by the municipality.

Avoid vandalism

Prevention measures include the surveillance of water sources, which have been protected so that the basic services operate normally, as well as public transport that will operate during normal hours.

The mayor also ordered the activation of the city’s Emergency Operations Committee, to avoid possible acts of vandalism or aggression during the protests. On September 30, the FUT declared October as the “month of resistance” and of fight against “neoliberalism, unemployment and corruption “which, he says, dominates in the spheres of the government of President Lenín Moreno.

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