By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday said he is following with concern the socio-political unrest in Ecuador, and he encouraged those involved to “seek social peace, with particular attention towards the most vulnerable and with respect for human rights”.
Speaking before the Angelus, the Pope said that together with all the members of the ongoing Synod of Bishops for the Amazon Region, and especially with those from Ecuador, “I am following with concern what has been happening in that country in recent weeks”.
Saying that he “joins in sorrow for the dead and the wounded, he asked for prayers and said he entrusts the nation to the intercession of the Saints just canonized during Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
At least 5 people have died in Ecuador since protests began 10 days ago and dozens have been wounded and arrested.
Government representatives and the country’s indigenous groups are to hold their first direct talks on Sunday in a bid to end the violence.
Protesters are demanding the return of fuel subsidies which the government scrapped as part of austerity measures.