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Indigenous Protesters Take Eight Police Officers Hostage Amid Ecuador Unrest - Reports

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MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The leader of the indigenous group at the centre of unrest in Ecuador presented eight captive police officers on Thursday, El Comercio newspaper reported.

Jaime Vargas, the leader of the group known as CONAIE, brought on stage seven male and one female police officer before his supporters at a cultural centre in capital Quito.

Vargas demanded the return of the bodies of three CONAIE members believed to have died in the unrest. In an animated display on stage amid cheering supporters and the media, the video shows Vargas calling on the government to stop repressions against the protesters.

Unrest erupted across Ecuador earlier this month after President Lenin Moreno imposed austerity measures, the most severe of which was the suspension of fuel subsidies, in accordance with an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to receive a $4.2 billion loan.

© REUTERS / STRINGERDemonstrators clash with riot police during protests after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's government ended four-decade-old fuel subsidies, in Quito, Ecuador October 3, 2019
Indigenous Protesters Take Eight Police Officers Hostage Amid Ecuador Unrest - Reports - Sputnik International
Demonstrators clash with riot police during protests after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's government ended four-decade-old fuel subsidies, in Quito, Ecuador October 3, 2019

The protests have since evolved into a wide-ranging set of demands that have activated many social groups, including farmers, students, indigenous peoples and more. Moreno declared a state of emergency and moved his government from Quito to the port city Guayaquil last week.

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