.- The secretary general of the Bishops Conference of Ecuador, Bishop Jose Vicente Eguiguren Samaniego, is calling on the government to guarantee the right to protest in the streets of the country. The bishop said a recent march organized by city officials in Guayaquil is "a democratic right of citizens." He said authorities have the duty to ensure the demonstrations are peaceful.
The march was organized by the city government of Guayaquil in part in order to demand the government grant approval to private security firms that would act in parallel with the police force.
At the same time, groups allied with the federal government organized their own counter-protest in Guayaquil. The government has called on both groups to refrain from protesting in order not to prove confrontations.