On Sunday, the National Police occupied the house of the Ecuadorian culture Benjamin Carrion in Quito to use its facilities as a barracks to house the policemen who come from other provinces to contain the protests.
Over the weekend, President Guillermo Lasso decreed a state of emergency in the midst of the national strike called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE). Despite the threats of strong repression against the demonstrators, this national strike is mobilizing thousands of Indigenous workers and farmers towards the country's capital.
Based on this state of exception, the Police requisitioned the facilities of the House of Culture located in El Arbolito Park, a site where thousands of people traditionally camped and found refuge during previous national strikes.
"It is with great sadness that I have to say that culture has died today. Tyranny, darkness, and terror have won over life, joy, diversity, and plurality. Today, terror is settling on the most important cultural institution in the country," the House of Culture President Fernando Ceron said about the police occupation.
The tweet reads, "More police officers who were outside the House of Culture have just entered it through one of the sides of the fence. The protesters yell at them, 'This is not barracks.'"
"The last time the House of Culture was controlled by the police was 42 years ago during the dictatorship. Now we are in a dictatorship. This house of freedom of thought has fallen into the hands of terror," he stressed.
A few hours before the police entered, officials from the State Attorney General's Office (FGE), an institution controlled by President Lasso, raided the House of Culture, arguing that they had received an anonymous complaint according to which protesters were storing explosives there. The authorities, however, found nothing.
On Sunday night, the CONAIE confirmed that the national strike continues and announced that the Indigenous communities will mobilize towards the capital city. The police and the army have been deployed to control the roads since early Monday morning.
#Ecuador | Hundreds of citizens continue to protest on the 7th day of the national strike. Indigenous authorities assured that the demonstrations will continue until President Guillermo Lasso offers a concrete solution to 10 specific points, mostly economic.— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 19, 2022
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