Ecuador's indigenous lead anti-government protests

Demonstrators accuse president of failing to deliver on promises of economic change as he moves to seek fourth term.

    Demonstrators have taken to the streets across Ecuador to protest against President Rafael Correa's constitutional amendments that would allow him to seek a fourth term in office.

    Indigenous protesters, who have been particularly vocal critics of Correa's governance, on Thursday blocked roads in six of the country's 24 provinces, including the Pan-American highway to Peru, officials said.

    Anti-government sentiment has been amplified by economic problems gripping the South American country.

    Indigenous groups that once supported Correa say he has failed to deliver on promises of social programmes and income equality.

    Protest leader Carlos Perez said the groups had declared an "uprising" and that Correa did not represent them any more.

    "We voted for him, but he sold us illusions, dreams and now we have woken up from a nightmare," Perez, president of the Conferation of Kichwa People, told Al Jazeera.

    "For more than eight years we have waited but now we say enough, Correa changes or has to resign."

    Protesters also criticised the president's constitutional changes that would let him run for office again, without calling for a public referendum on the matter.

    Milton Gualala, a legislator from Zamora-Chinchipe province, told Al Jazeera: "We demand the National Assembly to eliminate the constitutional amendments. What they are up to is reforming the constitution to guarantee Correa’s indefinite re-election. If he wants to do that he has call for a referendum."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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