The impeachment process against President Guillermo Lasso continued this Sunday in Quito, promoted by the 47 deputies of the Union of Hope (UNES), the parliamentary bloc of former President Rafael Correa. During the first session it became clear that despite being a majority, they do not have enough seats to fulfill their objective. They would lack at least 15 deputies to reach 2/3 of the chamber (92), as required by the Constitution.

In a climate of high tension, Juan Fernando Flores, coordinator of the ruling National Accord Bank (BAN), directly accused Correa, a fugitive from justice who fled to Belgium, of “buying consciences, extorting money and even threatening to kidnap assembly members or their families. This is how Rafael Correa’s mafia is operating.”

Another assemblyman, the renowned independent Fernando Villavicencio, also publicly aired that at least five legislators were tempted with financial bribes to change their vote and support the impeachment. During his intervention in the plenary session, deputy Patricio Cervantes revealed that there is pressure “to twist the will” of the assembly members.

Another parliamentarian, the indigenous Rafael Lucero, confessed, for his part, that a group of people went to his family home in Cotopaxi to shout and pressure him to vote against Lasso. In an audio published by the digital media La Posta, an indigenous leader ordered his followers “to be behind the house of the assembly members, raiding or also to be aware of them. If they do not vote in favor of the dismissal of this criminal government and murderer, we will immediately grab them by the ears and bring them to the Arbolito (a park in the capital that is the epicenter of indigenous mobilizations) wherever they are”.

The threats seem directed at the twenty assembly members of Pachakutik, the political arm of the indigenous movement, divided into three different blocks. Despite the fact that the official group had announced that they would not vote against Lasso, they have finally changed their minds, with the exception of Guadalupe Llori, a former legislative president who was dismissed by her political enemies.

The response from Correa, direct adviser to Nicolás Maduro and star of Vladimir Putin’s television, was immediate: “That’s called projective psychology. Country-selling clowns!” The leader of the citizen revolution has shown his discomfort because his initiative to remove Lasso does not have a sufficient majority, at least for now. If Lasso comes out of this process unscathed, he could no longer repeat himself in the three years remaining in his presidency.

“This noble and rebellious people do not deserve what is happening today in Ecuador. The double standards of incapable and shameless politicians are destroying the country,” Correa bellowed on his social networks, a way of showing his disappointment at not being able to convince deputies to Democratic Left (ID) and the Christian Social Party (PSC) to follow the path marked out from Belgium.

The serious crisis in Ecuador has thus been transferred to the National Assembly, which will decide on the political fate of Lasso after 14 days of national strike have already been experienced, which continues despite the 48-hour truce. The double session on Saturday, which lasted until dawn with the intervention of 31 assembly members, and on Sunday have been held virtually, given the impossibility for all legislators to travel from their provinces and even access the Assembly , located at ground zero of the protests.

Another 40 congressmen have requested the right to speak in a process that can take up to 72 hours. The repeal of the state of emergency decree, one of the premises of the indigenous leaders to sit down at the dialogue table, had a positive impact on both parties, despite the fact that roads are still blocked in the mountain area.

President Lasso announced this Sunday that he will reduce the prices of fuels that are already frozen by ten cents, a measure that aims to meet one of the main demands of the protests against his government due to the cost of living, reports Efe .

In a message to the nation broadcast on television and social networks, Lasso explained that the price of Extra and Eco País gasoline, with 85 octane, will drop from 2.55 to 2.45 dollars per gallon (3.7 liters), while that diesel will drop from $1.90 to $1.80 per gallon.

This reduction is lower than the demand of the indigenous movement, the main promoter of the protests that began two weeks ago, which demand that the price of a gallon of the aforementioned gasoline be set at $2.10 and that of diesel at $1.50.

The official did not mention the price of Super 92-octane gasoline, the only one that has a liberalized price and that currently costs around 4.50 dollars per gallon.

The price of the most popularly used fuels is the first of the ten points in the list of demands demanded by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) and other peasant organizations that called this mobilization.

“Everyone considers that the price of fuel has become the cornerstone that maintains the conflict and, although as a Government we are very clear that this factor is not the one that causes the problem of Ecuadorians, we must think about the common good and the citizen peace,” Lasso said in his message.

The president regretted that “more acts of violence and terrorism” have continued to occur after lifting the state of exception, which suspended the rights of assembly and association and allowed the deployment of the Armed Forces in support of the Police.

“For those who continue with violence, and causing terror, our Police and Armed Forces will continue to act through the progressive use of force to establish order and return to citizens the tranquility they require to live in peace, work and prosper,” Lasso said.

The protests began on June 13 and so far have left a balance of five dead and some 400 injured, half of them protesters and the other half police and military.

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