La Ronda is just around the corner

Friday, June 12, 2015

Protests in Ecuador and why it's still better to live in Ecuador VS so called first world countries. June 2015.

The worldwide tendency is that ruling elite controls, patronizes and economically squeezes ordinary people, no matter which country you are in. In Ecuador this process started in 2007. From free-spirited and relaxed place to live Ecuador became over-regulated country, to say the least.
First "they" outlawed fun or made it cost prohibitive
Few of prohibitions since 2007:
Smoking in the malls - no more,
Buying liquor on Sundays - nope, cannot,
Corrida (bullfighting) - gone,
Really high taxes on good liquor(among many other goods) - bottle, 750 ml, of good Vodka starts from $40 and up,

then "they" made lives of ordinary people harder, more expensive and complicated
Gas stoves and water heaters almost outlawed - government wants people to buy induction stoves and water heaters.  
No more child labor - youngster up to 18 years old considered "child" and it means 14 -17 years old cannot work in the summer or after school, to help their families and for many families it's tragic to have idle mouth to feed instead of helping hand.
No more maids for middle class (south american tradition) - outlawed and out priced.
No more shopping and shipping to Ecuador - out priced and so over-regulated that it is not fun and not practical.
Sale of baking soda is outlawed!!!
It used to be that you could hire a "tramitador", broker in English, to deal with bureaucracy on your behalf, and that is outlawed now.
Consumer goods and services are so heavily taxed, that they are much more expensive than in many other countries.

I can go on and on. The last draw were new inheritance tax- up to 77.5%!!! 
Well, it looks like Ecuadorians cannot take it anymore. As I said, powers everywhere excessively regulating people's lives but for Ecuador it's so new and so against their easy-going nature that Ecuador is protesting. 
Middle class is protesting! Every night this week, from Monday, June 8 to Thursday, June 12th  at 5 p.m. after work people got together to protest in Quito and other cities. Ecuadorians are not aggressive as a crowd, so when they are protesting they behave, more or less. Nobody was hospitalized during protests, no property was damaged.

Police not arresting, not beating, not tasering, not shooting protesters, they are just a presence. Update as of September 2015 - it changed in August, police showed some brutality. 

Police in Ecuador not militarized (although moving this direction) and brutal as in US, not corrupted, bribes hungry and merciless as in Russia. They have sign on their shields: “I´m a cop and also a son,” “I’m a cop and a brother also” “I’m a cop and a father" 

Attitude of Ecuadorian people and Ecuadorian police makes huge difference in everyday life, for the better.

Update: June 19th, Quito, Ecuador
Shared on Facebook by English speaking Ecuadorians, Author unknown.
Ecuadoran civil society has been protesting for days now. National newspapers have declared themselves in resistance, so have the Galapagos Islands. Looking at the international press coverage, most publications report that demonstrations were a response to a change in the inheritance tax law. This is a gross misrepresentation.
In fact, Ecuadorian civil society has many reasons to protest (in no particular order):
The President’s plans for indefinite re-election without consulting the people;
the steady march towards dictatorship;
massive social and environmental damage caused by oil extraction and mining (including the auction of 3 million hectares of virgin rainforest to oil companies;
oil drilling in Yasuni National Park;
gold mega-mining projects contaminating community water sources and sacred lakes; loss of community water rights);
plans to turn the Galapagos into a playground for the ultra-wealthy, with multi-million dollar resorts;
a massive increase in foreign debt;
the Government’s plan to use the Galapagos as surety for its un-repayable debt to China;
complete lack of free speech;
silencing of dissenters with threats, imprisonment, violence and death; imprisonment of resistance leaders without trial;
Government control of NGOs with Executive Decree 16;
Government control of media;
an ever growing list of scandals involving current government officials (drugs, corruption, embezzlement);
hugely wasteful public spending;
economic measures taken since the catastrophic fall in oil prices;
increases in the electricity tariff and the cost of public transportation;
the removal of the gas subsidy;
the potential withdrawal of the liquid fuels subsidy;
the removal of subsidies for Galapagos residents;
new tariffs on imported products;
a shortfall in the social security budget;
the withdrawal of the Human Development Bond from 750,000 people;
the Government’s decision to ignore its debt to the Ecuadoran Institute of Social Security (IESS) and withdraw the 40% state contribution to the retirement fund … oh yes, and the inheritance tax thing. Did I miss anything?
The Wall St Journal gave fairer coverage than most:…/thousands-march-in-quito-other-ecuador…
The Government’s reaction has been laughable, with the President claiming that demonstrations are a result of an international conspiracy.
Some international press mention the pro-Government protests which are also taking place, though fail to report that Government employees are obliged to attend, transported to demonstrations in buses en masse, in order to keep their jobs.

Some are saying that we have now reached the point of no return with this Government. It's going to be interesting to see what happens next.

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