Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno is fighting for his political future amid escalating protests, triggered by his decision to end fuel subsidies. What started off as protests by transport unions became a full-blown crisis of power as the country’s largest indigenous movement Conaie mobilised and marched on Quito. Caught off guard by the magnitude of the protests, Moreno declared a 60-day state of exception. When this did not have the desired effect, he retreated to the coastal city of Guayaquil, taking a parting shot at his predecessor Rafael Correa (2007-2017), who he accused of trying to co-opt the protests to instigate a coup. Moreno is promising dialogue with Conaie, while refusing to budge on fuel subsidies. This might not be enough. Some Conaie leaders want to press home their advantage. This is not uncharted waters. They have toppled presidents before.

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