By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno on Saturday imposed curfew in the capital Quito amid violent protests, according to media reports.
Moreno said the curfew will start at 3 p.m. local time (2000GMT) to "facilitate the use of public force in the face of intolerable excess of violence," Venezuelan TV channel TeleSur reported.
The president also ordered the militarization of Quito streets.
The decision came after protests over the government’s decision to scrap decades-old fuel subsidies as part of a reform package almost 10 days ago.
“Since the demonstrations began, over 1,000 people have been detained nationwide, with 76% of them being released because they had committed no crime whatsoever," TeleSur reported.
A nationwide strike by transport workers and taxi drivers against the elimination of the subsidies led to protests and violence.
Moreno declared a two-month state of emergency on Oct. 3 and said his Cabinet is determined not to change the decision on "those perverse subsidies that were damaging the country."
Ecuador, a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast, has seen numerous street protests in the past which forced the resignation of three presidents.