14:30 GMT14 July 2020
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno dismissed Chief of General Staff Roque Moreira and Army Commander Javier Perez amid demands of the pro-fuel subsidies rally leaders to hold the country's highest military officials accountable for violence against protesters, the Defence Ministry of Ecuador said in a statement on Tuesday.

    "Under Decree 895 of October 15, 2019, to appoint Division General Luis Lara Jaramillo as Chief of Joint Staff of Armed Forces, and under Decree 896, to appoint Brigadier-General Luis Altamirano Junqueira as General Commander of the Army," the statement read.

    The reshuffling among Ecuador's highest military ranks has been one of the conditions put forward by the protest leaders and representatives of Ecuador's indigenous peoples to end the almost two-week-long rallies. They demanded that heads of military structures which were responsible for the excessive use of violence against the protesters be fired immediately.

    Ecuadorians took to the streets of capital Quito and other cities to protest against the economic reforms of Moreno's government, in particular, the decree that would end the habitual subsidies for gasoline and diesel for people. As civil unrest grew progressively violent, Moreno declared a national two-month state of emergency and ordered a curfew in Quito, mobilizing the military to ensure its implementation.

    On Sunday, Moreno held talks with the protest leaders and representatives of indigenous Ecuadorians which ended in a consensus to end the violent rallies and reconsider the controversial decree. Before the protests, Moreno claimed that Ecuador could no longer afford the subsidies and that their abolition could help the country save some $2.27 billion a year. Additionally, the cut of fuel subsidies was part of the Ecuadorian government's deal with the International Monetary Fund to be eligible for a $4.2 billion loan.


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