Indigenous groups in Ecuador were blocking some highways with mounds of earth and burning tires on Monday, kicking off what they say will be an indefinite protest against the economic policies of conservative President Guillermo Lasso.

Indigenous and social organizations are asking Lasso for 10 concessions, including that he freeze gasoline costs at a lower price, stop additional oil and mining development, and extend deadlines for small farmers to pay off debts with banks.

Lasso in October froze prices for the most-used gasoline and for diesel at higher rates than had been in place before he took office, sparking protests that ended when the government opened talks with indigenous groups and others.

The talks have continued since but indigenous leaders say the government is not listening to their concerns.

"We have had to resort to resistance in view of the national government putting in place more and more policies of death, which don't allow us to sustain our small economies," Leonidas Iza, head of the CONAIE indigenous organization, told journalists.

"Mr. President, respond to the people on the most urgent, necessary and painful issues," Iza said as he stood with dozens of other indigenous people on a highway south of Quito, urging Lasso not to allow the International Monetary Fund to "impose" policy.

The South American country has agreed to financing of $6.5 billion with the multilateral organization in a deal that finishes this year.

"Many of the demands are being attended to - gasoline prices have not risen in six months and we have invested $100 million in credits at 1% (interest) for 30 years," Francisco Jimenez, the government minister tasked with managing negotiations, told journalists.

Protests were smaller than expected, he added, calling for dialogue and respect of the law.

The roads that connect Quito with both the north and south of the country were blocked in some areas with earth, tires and trees.

Just three Andean provinces had blocked roads, the government said, while CONFENIAE, another indigenous organization, said some Amazonian roads were also barred.

"We will not allow the interruption of roads and highways, we will not allow the takeover of oil wells nor of public services," Lasso said on social media on Sunday.