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Latino Daily News

Wednesday October 6, 2010

UPDATE:  State of Emergency Extended, Ecuador Remains in ‘Fragile’ State

UPDATE: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has announced an extension on the state of emergency he imposed last week due to insurgent police that threatened to dismantle his presidency.  An investigation continues as to who was behind the insurgency with a special focus on the police unit guarding the National Assembly.  The state of emergency that allows the military to control internal and external security matters in the country was due to expire yesterday morning.  As a result of the insurgency eight people died and 274 were injured. 

The government has also released taped radio communications between police officers where it is heard “Quick, kill that son of a bitch Correa” and “Kill Correa to end this”

UPDATE; Ecuador’s police chief, Freddy Martinez, has resigned in light of the insurgency his officers caused in the country deemed by President Rafael Correa to be an ‘attempted coup’.  Martinez did not participate in the insurgency that saw airports close, highways blockaded and resulted in two deaths and scores of injured.  Martinez in submitting his resignation did continue to urge the President to reconsider the cutbacks in benefits for his officers, which is what lead to the protests and insurgency.  The police are upset over a cut in promotion bonuses though their base pay has more than doubled since Correa took office in 200.

Most of the country’s airports have been reopened and calm is seen in the capital of Quito and Guayaquil where most of the disturbances took place.  A state of emergency remains with the military in charge of security for the country and schools have not reopened.

ORIGINAL STORY:  Two people have died and 88 injured in clashes between rioting police and the military in Ecuador after a police insurgency turned violent.  President Rafael Correa had attempted to calm protesting police when they turned on him and injured him.  He was then held captive in the hospital for more than 12 hours where he went to get treatment leading him to call a state of emergency in his country.  Police were rioting in reaction to loss of benefits instituted on Wednesday; the police insurgency was nation wide.

South American leaders held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation and expressed their full support of President Correa’s leadership.  The U.S. followed suit with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stating:  “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.”

The military remains in charge of maintaining public order this morning.  It remains unclear when airports will be open and highways cleared of the blockades set up by the rioting police. 

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