Ecuaorean students, police clash in fuel price protest : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Nando Times

Ecuadorean students, police clash in fuel-price protest

The Associated Press

QUITO, Ecuador (January 3, 2001 10:19 p.m. EST - Police used tear gas Wednesday to break up a crowd of about 300 students protesting government subsidy cuts that have caused a rise in fuel prices.

Police said 44 high school and university students were arrested after they tried to disrupt traffic around the state-run university in central Quito and six nearby public high schools.

One student suffered minor injuries when he was struck by a tear gas canister, according to radio reports.

Meanwhile, some 200 students marched peacefully through the streets of Cuenca, an Andean city 183 miles south of the capital. No arrests were reported.

The government last week doubled home cooking fuel prices, increased gasoline prices by 25 percent and upped bus fares by as much as 75 percent, from 8 cents to 14 cents.

The National Transportation Council on Wednesday halted the fare hike after a judge ruled it unconstitutional.

The subsidy cuts are part of President Gustavo Noboa's economic recovery program. Multinational lenders, led by the International Monetary Fund, have pledged a three-year, $2 billion aid package contingent on the cash-strapped nation carrying out austerity measures.

-- Rachel Gibson (, January 04, 2001

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