from Weekly News Update on the Americas

Ecuadoran secondary school student Jhonny Montesdeoca was killed on April 6 during demonstrations in Cuenca to oppose signing the Andean Free Trade Agreement (known as TLC in Spanish) with the US and to demand the expulsion of the US-based company Occidental Petroleum (OXY). Montesdeoca died of a gunshot wound in his back. Another secondary school student, Javier Loja, was hospitalized after being shot in the foot. Students carried out violent mobilizations all day in Cuenca, according to the Ecuadoran media, especially near Cuenca State University; the two students were shot in that area.

Ten students were arrested in a demonstration the Popular Front Against the TLC held in Quito on the same day. Police agents used tear gas against the protesters as they tried to gather at the headquarters of the Ecuadoran Social Security Institute (IESS). The General Union of Workers of Ecuador (UGTE) charged that police agents beat a local union president, Jose Chusin, on the head with nightsticks. (Adital, April 10)

The demonstrations by students and others followed a wave of massive protests against the TLC led by indigenous organizations from March 13 to March 25. A recent opinion survey published in the Ecuadoran media found that 62.40% of those polled considered the TLC harmful to the country; 29.60% felt it would be beneficial. (Adital, March 28)

Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 16


Weekly News Update on the Americas

See also WW4 REPORT #120


Reprinted by WORLD WAR 4 REPORT, May 1, 2006
Reprinting permissible with attribution