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Indigenous group slated to protest at Government House in Quito on November 14; exercise vigilance

The indigenous group ECUARUNARI, affiliated to the largest indigenous national organization, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), is calling their supporters to protest at Quito's Plaza Grande (Square), outside Carondelet Presidential Palace, on November 14, to finish their march across the country initiated on November 4. No specific time for the demonstration has been confirmed at the time of writing. According to reports, the activists intend to deliver in person to President Lenin Moreno their claims against mining operations, citing the alleged deterioration of the environment. Demonstrators will reportedly remain in the city for three days.

Turnover is likely to be significant considering that the action has been announced since October 2 by one of the largest indigenous groups in Ecuador. While the demonstration is intended to be peaceful, precedents of violent protest methods outside Quito suggest a potential for incidents such as scuffles and roadblocks. For instance, on May 8 ECUARUNARI took control of an area in the state of Azuay in which a mining project operated, leading to forceful eviction by security forces. Furthermore, it is very unlikely that the government will ban metal mining promptly, and this may further increase tensions with indigenous populations.

Those operating in Quito on November 14 are advised to exercise vigilance and avoid the vicinity of Carondelet Presidential Palace given potential for violence between demonstrators and police, and to allot for likely traffic disruptions.

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