QUITO, Ecuador — Hundreds of Indians blocked Ecuador's Pan American highway in several provinces Monday with rocks, tree trunks and burning tires to protest new water, mining and oil laws.
Their leaders suspended the protest late Monday, saying the government had promised to talk about their objections.
The Indians contend the proposed the laws threaten their lands and will privatize water resources. Leftist President Rafael Correa disputes that view, and the ruling party-controlled legislature has been expected to approve the laws.
The leading Indian group, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, split with Correa in 2008 when he refused to grant Indians the right to veto concessions to exploit natural resources on their lands under a constitution approved last year.
Monday's protests on the main national highway paled in comparison to protests that ousted Ecuadorean presidents in 2000 and 2005.