Home Economy Ecuador lifts emergency in oil-rich province

Ecuador lifts emergency in oil-rich province


Quito : The Ecuadorian government has lifted the state of emergency proclaimed Nov 29 in the oil-rich Orellana province following large-scale agitation for better public amenities, Spanish news agency EFE reported Wednesday.

Interior Minister Fernando Bustamante said the emergency rule has been called off after an agreement was reached with human rights organisations and regional leaders.

The agreement calls for creation of a commission to investigate charges of human rights abuses during the rule of emergency, when protestors opposing the government’s decision to clamp emergency had shut down a key oil-production facility.

In Dayuma, authorities have arrested many people on charge of “sedition”.

Minister Bustamante said the government would probe the allegations of excesses committed by the army in quelling Thursday’s agitation in the Dayuma region of the province.

“The commission will ensure that disciplinary measures are taken and compensation paid,” Bustamante said.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Gustavo Jalk said the government would act against those responsible for sabotaging the state-run oil company Petroecuador in Dayuma complex.

The protests have caused a temporary drop in oil output of 36,000 barrels per day. Ecuador depends on the revenue from oil exports to fund 35 percent of the national budget.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa Nov 29 declared a state of emergency in the province to quell the protest, banning public gatherings and clamping curfews after riotous crowds attacked the country’s oil pipeline SOTE.

Correa also removed Petroecuador’s chief Carlos Pareja and named Navy officer Fernando Zurita as the company’s new head to tackle the demonstration that had blocked roads to key oil fields.