Police protest in Ecuador destabilizes central government | Coup in Ecuador! Take Action!

Thousands have poured into the streets of Ecuador in response to an apparent coup attempt by members of the police. What began as a large police protest over wage bonuses rapidly escalated into acts of violence against top officials – including President Rafael Correa. Police launched tear gas at the president soon after he addressed a crowd of protestors.

Rebel police have spread out across the streets of Quito and Guayaquil and the Air Force has reportedly taken over the capitol’s international airport and air base.

Schools and banks have closed and public transportation has all but stopped.

Ecuador’s Minister of Internal Security Miguel Carvajal described the situation earlier today.

“We want to be emphatic; there are interests here provoking an uneasiness and we call upon the police and the armed forced to not allow themselves to be used. These interests are in a clear process of affecting institutions. I want to say this clearly; institutionality is being affected, there have been acts of violence against the president of the republic, acts of violence against the Minister of the Interior, acts of violence against high-ranking officials. Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing a process of a process of the suffocation of democracy. We are seeing a process of destabilization.”

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was taken to a hospital after the tear gas attack, where he spoke by phone to South American public media.

“This is a conspiracy that’s been developing over a lot of time. I prefer to death over losing my life. And “losing life for me” means to cast aside my principles. There’s going to be no backing down. If they want, they can come look for me here and put a bullet in me. The republic will continue forward. They can kill me, but as [Chilean poet Pablo] Neruda said ‘They can cut the flowers but they can never stop the spring’.”

As the interview was ending, President Correa said police were trying to enter his hospital room:

“If something happens to me, I blame them. I just want to say that my love for country is infinite and wherever I am, I will always love my family [reporter interrupts]…and I knew these were the risks and it was worth it.”

The head of Ecuador’s armed forces has reiterated his allegiance to the elected government.

As we go to air, the elected government has declared a state of exception throughout the entire country for one week in which the military will assume policing duties.

Coup in Ecuador! Urgent Action Needed!

Call the State Department and White House!

Your call could make a difference!

We have received reports that a coup is taking place in Ecuador. The situation is in flux. There are reports that President Rafael Correa disappeared after meeting with the police but other reports say he is in the hospital surrounded by police after a tear gas attack. All the airports are closed; the Congress has been taken over by the police; banks are closed.

There is still hope, however, that that the coup can be stopped in its tracks. The top army commander in Ecuador says the military remains loyal to President Correa.

Call the State Department and the White House Comment line and tell them to make a statement that the US will cut off all military, police and development aid to Ecuador if the coup is carried to completion

This coup in Ecuador, the second ALBA country now to suffer a coup, is the direct result of the US government support for the June 28, 2010, coup in Honduras. We cannot allow our government to again support anti-democratic forces in Latin America.


To contact Senators and Representatives:

To contact the State Department:
Fax: 202-647-8947, Voice: 202 647-8947, or Email: Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, c/o Laura Pena, Assistant, PenaL@state.gov

Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, Assist. Sec. of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs: ValenzuelaAA@state.gov; Ambassador Craig Kelly, Principal Deputy Asst./ Secretary, Western Office of Hemisphere Affairs: KellyC@state.gov (Fax: 202-647-0834)

To contact White House:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and White House Comment Line 202-456-1414; Dan Restrepo, Special Asst. to the President, Western Hemisphere Affairs, drestreop@nsc.eop.gov

PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY: URGENT! Attempted coup against Ecuadorean government

Initial reports today inform that sections of the Ecuadorean Police are staging
street demonstrations, ostensibly for economic demands but in reality trying to
subvert the legal order, including through trying to occupy the National
Parliament. Additionally, in open revolt against the government, some police
officers have taken illegal control over their police stations.

There are also reports that members of the Quito army barracks in the capital
city occupied these barracks in open mutiny against the government. In response,
President Rafael Correa went to the barracks to talk to the rebels and was
attacked by CS gas which exploded near his face. The President is now in the
hospital of the Quito Regiment, with minor concussions but well. The armed
forces have him under their control in the Quito barracks.

In a clearly orchestrated action of open rebellion, members of the armed forces
also took control and closed the Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre airport.

In response to these developments, on live TV through TELESUR at about 18 hrs
(GMT) President Rafael Correa said: “It’s a coup d’etat, a conspiracy organised
by the opposition.” President Correa hinted that UNASUR was likely to hold an
emergency meeting to defend the democratic order that is under threat in Ecuador
and also said that police officers supportive of the revolt were trying to get
to his hospital room to attack him. He added that he was standing firm in the
defence of the democratic order in Ecuador and there was no way he would
capitulate, and that he could only lose his life.

The Foreign Affairs minister has called upon people to march to the hospital to
protect the life of the President. Mass demonstrations are now taking place in
the whole of Ecuador in support of the legitimate and democratically-elected
government of President Correa. People are currently congregating around the
Quito barracks hospital to protect the President.

President Correa and his government have won every single democratic election
since his election in 2006. The government has expanded democracy and
implemented policies to redistribute income to the poor, benefiting millions of
people hitherto socially excluded. The country has also had a new constitution
overwhelmingly approved at a national referendum, which is deemed to be one of
the greenest and most progressive constitutions in the world.

Venezuela Solidarity Campaign


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