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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Interior Minister resigns in Ecuador

Indigenous People are keeping the pressure on in Ecuador.

Ecuador demos prompt resignation

Indigenous communities say they will continue their protests
Ecuador's interior minister has resigned after continued nationwide protests over a possible free trade agreement with the US.
Alfredo Castillo said he was stepping down for personal reasons but also because of the government's handling of the crisis.

Protests by indigenous groups have entered a third day.

They say a pact with the US will affect their livelihood and are demanding a referendum on the issue.

Mr Castillo is the third interior minister to resign from the post in just 11 months.

The protestors have blocked major roads with burning tyres, rocks and trees.

Reports say the blockades have already led to a shortage of provisions and a rise in prices in the capital, Quito, and other central provinces.

At least six people have been arrested and 14 others injured in minor scuffles with security forces, according to police sources.

The Indians say a deal with the United States would harm their economy and their culture.

A protest leader, Cesar Umajinga, told the BBC a trade deal with the US would only benefit the wealthy.

complete article


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