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Ecuadorian indigenous leaders agree to meet with the government

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Alexandra Valencia

QUITO — Ecuadorian indigenous groups said they would meet with the government on Monday to discuss the demand for lower fuel and food prices that caused the two-week protest. rice field. It threatens the country's weakened economy and its oil production.

President Guillermo Lasso announced late Sunday that he would cut gasoline and diesel prices by 10 cents per gallon. This is the latest concession to put down a violent demonstration that began on June 13.

At least seven people died in connection with the march, halving the country's oil production. The Department of Energy says production can be shut down by Tuesday if road blockades and well takeovers continue.

Lasso, whose hostility to parliament deteriorated during the protest, also withdrew his safety measures and announced supplementary fertilizers and debt forgiveness.

An indigenous group led by organization CONAIE said in a statement early Monday that price cuts to $ 2.45 per gallon of gasoline and $ 1.80 per gallon of diesel were not sufficient.

However, in the afternoon, the group said it would attend a meeting with government officials set at 2:00 pm. Local time (1900 GMT), even if the patronage rejects the new price and marches in Kito.

"We drive the outcome of the 10-point agenda. We call on mobilized supporters to be vigilant," CONAIE said on Twitter.

It is a "crime" to reduce oil production at high global prices, "Italo Cedeno, manager of state-owned oil company Petroecuador, told a local television station.

Lasso said in a tweet that measures, including gas price cuts, would cost about $ 600 million.

Kito residents are complaining about lack of household gas and food. Hospital fuel and drug shortages have also been reported in other cities.

According to the government, the public oil sector, private producers of flowers and dairy, tourism and other businesses have lost about $ 500 million.

CONAIE aggregates the deaths of five protesters, but the government says three civilians died during the march, two more died in an accident, and two due to a blockade. He said he died in a late ambulance.

Opposition groups appear to lack the support needed for this measure to succeed, but lawmakers will continue to discuss efforts to dismiss Lasso on Tuesday.

(Report by Alexandra Valencia on Kitting by Julia Symmes Cobb, edited by Matthew Lewis)