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The Ecuadorian government suspends talks with protesters after a soldier was killed

#Ecuadorian #government #suspends #talks #protesters #soldier #killed

The Ecuadorian government has suspended negotiations with protesting indigenous groups, President Guillermo Lasso said Tuesday after a soldier was killed in an attack a minister accused of “violent protesters”.

Lasso, in an address to the nation, accused indigenous leader Leonidas Iza of self-interested politics, saying, “We will not negotiate with those who are holding Ecuador hostage.”

The military said one soldier was killed and five police officers and seven soldiers injured in an early morning attack by an armed group on an escort of a tanker truck in the east of the country.

Interior Minister Patricio Carillo tweeted his condolences to the family of fallen soldier Jose Chimarro, describing the attackers as “violent protesters.”

Indigenous leaders met with the government on Monday to end nationwide demonstrations against the high cost of living that have rocked the country for the past two weeks.

A second day of negotiations, scheduled for Tuesday morning, could not start because government negotiators did not appear.

“The country has witnessed all our efforts to engage in a fruitful and genuine dialogue,” said Lasso, a former banker who took office just over a year ago.

“But we will not sit down again for a dialogue with Leonidas Iza, who only defends his political interests and not those of his base.”

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