Shortages of key goods start to bite due to protests in Ecuador

An estimated 14,000 protesters are taking part in the nationwide show of discontent against increasing hardships, particularly increased fuel prices, in an economy dealt a serious blow by the coronavirus pandemic. The ironic side effect of their demonstrations has been a worsening of several economic factors: rising prices, shortages and deserted markets.

The biggest actions by far took place in the capital, where the number of protesters is close to 10,000. Numerous checkpoints and barricades block the main roads throughout the country, in particular on the vital Panamerican highway.

Since the beginning of the roadblocks, Guayaquil’s only wholesale market has been out of stock. The supply center normally receives nearly 3,000 truckloads of food from the Andean highlands every day, but that figure has dropped by almost 70 percent.

In Quito, where main access roads are blocked intermittently, authorities are trying to organize protection for trucks by the army and police. Santa Clara, like five other markets in the capital, was forced to close for several days and only partially resumed operations on Saturday.


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