The European Union foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, spoke on 8 October on the phone with the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, José Valencia, over the latest developments in the country, where recent protests related to the reforms aimed at economic recovery have led to violent incidents and looting.

Violence has persisted since last week, when President Lenín Moreno’s decision to end subsidies led to a sharp increase in fuel prices. Demonstrators burst through a police cordon before being driven back with tear gas, witnesses said.

Mogherini recalled that social protest within the law is legitimate, but it must remain peaceful, and called on all actors to avoid further escalation. She also welcomed the offer of mediation by the Church and the United Nations, stressing the need for a dialogue on reforms within the relevant institutions.