Violent protests force Ecuador’s government to leave capital Quito

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Gideon Long in Bogotá

Ecuador’s government has decamped from the capital in Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil after five days of violent protests over fuel price rises, in which demonstrators have looted warehouses, forced the closure of oil installations and briefly stormed congress before being driven out.

At least one person has died in the country’s worst violence in years, and almost 500 have been arrested. Videos on social media showed masked youths setting fire to an armoured personnel carrier and pushing it into a ravine. Indigenous activists with sticks fought running battles with police, who responded with tear gas.

President Lenín Moreno has blamed the chaos on his leftwing predecessor Rafael Correa, who he claims is backed by Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s president.