On October 2, President Lenin Moreno announced he was introducing structural reforms to Congress, negotiated previously with the IMF in March, including changes to tax, labor and finance regulations. As part of efforts to simplify the tax system and cut the fiscal deficit, Moreno scrapped fuel subsidies which unleashed mass waves of protest and clashes between anti-government demonstrators and the police.
Faced with this situation, Moreno announced a state of emergency, a constitutional mechanism designed to contain emergency situations, granting the Executive branch extraordinary powers including media censorship, re-locating government and collecting taxes ahead of time.
In a bid to restore public order, the Secretary General of the Presidency, José Augusto Briones, unveiled a 6-point plan aimed at placating the indigenous groups behind many of the country’s main protests. Broadly centered on promoting rural and agricultural development, the idea is to enable the government to “restore peace in the country”.