Reports of a protest by the Police have turned to a Coup attempt with President Correa injured and was in a hospital surrounded by hostile police. Apparently the military rescued President Correa. The military claims to support the President. Some are blaming the former president Gutierrez for attempting a Coup. Reports below.
This is from Xinhua News Service
Former president plots coup, says Ecuador’s deputy FM
English.news.cn 2010-10-01 04:49:50
BOGOTA, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) — Ecuador’s Deputy Foreign Minister Quinto Lucas accused on Thursday the former Ecuadorian president, Lucio Gutierrez, of plotting a coup against incumbent President Rafael Correa.
During a telephone interview with Colombian local radio station RCN, Correa said that “there are sections of the political opposition, mainly former president Gutierrez who is responsible for this coup attempt.”
Lucas said “it is a protest carried out by the police, but there are interests to transform it into a coup. This is what we are denouncing.”
Lucas said that the government has decided to talk with the policemen.
Editor: Mu Xuequan
This from Sky News Service
Ecuador President Hurt During ‘Coup Attempt’
12:14am UK, Friday October 01, 2010
David Williams, Sky News Online
A state of emergency has been declared in Ecuador after President Rafael Correa was hurt during protests led by members of his security forces.
Unrest in Ecuador
Ecuador’s foreign minster claims the unrest is orchestrated by ‘ill-informed’ police
Police angered at plans to limit their pay burned tyres in the streets of Quito, while witnesses described seeing looting across the city.
Scores of soldiers swarmed over the landing strip of the international airport in the capital to quell the trouble.
Security Minister Miguel Carvajal described the uprising as an attempted coup.
He added that the military would now take over the functions of police taking part in the rebellion.
All international flights were cancelled after troops exerted a shutdown in confused and chaotic scenes.
The Peruvian President ordered the immediate closure of his country’s border with Ecuador due to the unrest.
Mr Correa was hurt as he took to the streets to confront the protesters in the capital.
Police reportedly teargassed supporters who gathered outside a hospital where he is being kept, apparently under duress.
“This is not Honduras. Correa is president,” protesters chanted, walking through the smoke, in reference to a 2009 coup in the Central American nation.
He has become a figure of hatred as he considers drastic action while battling members of his own party in a deadlocked Congress.
The left-wing leader is believed to be planning to dissolve the legislature after his proposals aimed at slashing state costs were blocked.
The move, which adheres to the updated constitution passed only two years ago, would allow him to rule by decree until new presidential and parliamentary elections can be held.
Although scenes of unrest and political instability are common within the country, they are the first President Correa has faced since taking power.
Resident Robin Slater, owner of Quito-based travel company Sangay Touring, told Sky News from the capital: “The trouble we’ve got right now is that all the airwaves, both the radio and television, have been taken over by the government, which is a bit suspicious because we can’t find out what’s happening.”
Workers and school children in the city of Guayaquil were also sent home during the trouble, which the country’s foreign minster claimed was orchestrated by “ill-informed” police.
Street protests toppled three presidents during economic turmoil in the decade before he assumed office.
A statement from the White House said the US Government was watching the situation closely and gave Mr Correa its full backing.
This is from the Field
Coup Attempt in Ecuador Is a Result of Sec. Clinton’s Cowardice in Honduras
Posted by Al Giordano - September 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm
By Al Giordano
Oh, crap. Another year, another coup in Latin America. And while today’s attempt by police forces in Ecuador went so far as to fire tear gas at elected president Rafael Correa, the military brass in the South American country have sided with the democratic order - its top general is on TV right now strongly backing the elected government - and this one isn’t likely to go as well for the anti-democracy forces as last year’s did in Honduras.
First, because the Ecuadorean people are far more advanced in social and community organization than their counterparts in Honduras were last year. Second, because the events last year in Honduras caused other center-left governments in the hemisphere to prepare for what everybody saw would be more coup attempts against them in more countries.
Additionally, we can expect in the coming hours that the police leaders responsible for todays events - you don’t need to understand Spanish to get a pretty good idea of what went down this morning by watching the above video - will be rounded up and brought to justice, as would happen in any other country, including the United States.
But, kind reader, do you know why this is even happening? Because the same unholy alliance of Latin American oligarchs who can’t stomach the rising wave of democracy in their countries - from the ex-Cubans of Miami to the ex-Venezuelans and others who have joined them in recent years - along with international crime organizations seeking new refuges and members of extreme rightist groups in the United States and elsewhere, saw their scheme work in 2009 in Honduras and took note of how quickly, after US President Barack Obama denounced the Honduras coup, his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began playing both sides of it.
It was this newspaper, through reporter Bill Conroy’s investigations, that broke the story last August that the State Department-controlled Millennium Challenge Corporation had poured extraordinary amounts of money into Honduras in the months leading up to the June 29, 2009 coup d’etat. And in story after story, we demonstrated with documented fact how Clinton’s Millennium Challenge Corporation went so far as to violate the ban on US aid to the Honduran coup regime. Clinton’s later endorsement of farcical presidential elections and her over-reaching attempts to pretend nothing had happened in Honduras are precisely the signals that were received by today’s coup plotters in Ecuador when they made a run at toppling the democratic government there.
At present, thankfully, the coup in Ecuador seems more likely to fail than to succeed. And there will be hell to pay for those behind it. But it didn’t have to get that far. That only happened because, last year, the US Secretary of State pulled off a kind of “silent coup” in US foreign policy while her commander in chief was buried with the urgent domestic tasks stemming off economic collapse and, as everyone knows, small nations get little attention almost always anyway.
This time, the White House would do well to put a much shorter leash on its Secretary of State, because her horrendous and unforgivable anti-democratic behavior regarding the Honduras coup only fueled, and continues to fuel, understandable speculation that if the United States doesn’t walk its talk about opposing coups d’etat, then it must have been an active participant in plotting it. The mishandling of the Honduras situation last year did lasting damage to President Obama’s stated hopes to turn the page in US relations with its closest neighbors after decades of abuse and neglect. A single misstep by Secretary Clinton today and in the future regarding the events in Ecuador, like those she repeatedly made regarding Honduras, now that the hemispheric coup plotters have moved from Central America to larger South America, will further erode the cause of democracy in the entire hemisphere. I don’t trust her. Nobody south of the border does. And nor should you, Mr. President.
Update: Narco News has translated today’s Statement from the Office of President Rafael Correa.
Update II: If it holds, this will be the first time in the history of the hemisphere that the Armed Forces of a country stood up against a coup d’etat from the first moment. Now, that would be democracy at work.
Update III: The situation in Ecuador today is further complicated by the disillusion that the very social forces that elected President Correa have with his actions in office. The CONAIE (Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) is the leading national indigenous movement with strong alliances with labor and other social forces) held a press conference today to say that it is neither with the police forces nor with President Correa. The CONAIE and its hundreds of thousands of participants is not only responsible for Correa’s election, but its mobilizations caused the rapid-fire resignations of previous presidents of Ecuador in this century.
The situation thus also shines a light on the growing rift in the hemisphere between the statist left and the indigenous left and related autonomy and labor movements. The CONAIE is basically saying to Correa, “you want our support, then enact the agenda you were elected on.” Whether one sees this as a dangerous game of brinkmanship or something that actually strengthens Correa’s hand by placing him in the middle zone ideologically, it is worth seeing this at face value and beware of getting led astray by some of the usual suspect conspiracy theorists of the statist left who are predictably out there barking that the CONAIE is somehow an agent of imperialism, dropping rumors of US AID funding but never seeming to exhibit the hard evidence. Sigh. What Johnny-One-Notes! They wouldn’t know nuance if it slapped them in the face. For them, you either line up lock-step with THE STATE (if it is “their” state) or you’re a running dog of capitalism. That kind of Stalinist purge mentality should have died with the previous century.
The CONAIE’s grievances happen to be very legitimate. Of course, they do not justify a coup d’etat, but the CONAIE is not participating in or supporting the coup d’etat. It is saying to Correa; we’ll have your back, when you have ours. This, like the Armed Forces support for Correa, is also a historical first in the region. And the plot thickens…
Update IV: A boilerplate statement from the US State Department:
We are closely following events in Ecuador. The United States deplores violence and lawlessness and we express our full support for President Rafael Correa, and the institutions of democratic government in that country.
We urge all Ecuadorians to come together and to work within the framework of Ecuador’s democratic institutions to reach a rapid and peaceful restoration of order.
Now let’s see if they walk that talk…
Update V: 9:30 p.m. Quito: Ecuadorean military troops have just rescued President Correa from the police hospital where he was sequestered all day. Looks like it was a pretty violent battle, but multiple media on the scene are reporting that the president is safe and the Armed Forces stuck with the democratic order.