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Ecuador: Accusations and Evaluation After Police Uprising

After several hours of fear, tension and uncertainty, another day begins in Ecuador. However, it is a day full of strong emotions and evaluations, after the police uprising that paralyzed the country. On Twitter @candradepa says:

parece que #Quito hubiera despertado de una gran farra alcoholica y alucinógena…

it looks like if #Quito had woken up to a huge party with alcohol and hallucinogens…

This is a shared sentiment. Andrés OleasPesántez (@aoleasp) recounts [es]:

193 heridos, 5 vidas humanas perdidas y millones de dólares en pérdidas… que alguien me explique, qué fue lo que ganamos? #ECUADOR

193 wounded, 5 human lives lost and millions of dollars in losses… someone explain to me, what did we win? #ECUADOR

Reports from other Ecuadorian cities like Guayaquil and Cuenca [es] are similar. Esther Burgos (@noe_eb‎) reports that,

Se siguen escuchando las sirenas de la policia, y los helicopteros que sobrevuelan Guayaquil #Ecuador

We can still hear police sirens, and helicopters flying over Guayaquil #Ecuador

Erika Solis Tlachi (@erikadesing), from the same city, informs:

Urgente saqueo en guayaquil ecuador – http://bit.ly/dycQoI #ireport

Urgent looting in guayaquil ecuador – http://bit.ly/dycQoI #ireport


Citizen video of looting

Yesterday September 30, after the announcement of the strike by a group of police officers, the closing of the airport and the arrival of President Correa to the Metropolitan Hospital, increasingly confusing news started to emerge on the Internet. With these news came information that Correa was being held by the police in the hospital and that a coup d'état threatened to break the rule of law.

Although the media mainly used the word “coup,” the silence and the latter active participation from the Army to rescue Correa from the Hospital show that there was no joint military attempt to remove Correa from the government.

Martín Pallares from Desde la Tranquera [es], asks:

¿en verdad hubo un golpe de Estado en el Ecuador? Yo supongo que para hablar de un golpe de Estado debe haber habido, al menos, el intento manifiesto de derrocar al Presidente para reemplazarlo por alguien. Y en el caso ocurrido este día lo único que hubo fue un deplorable e injustificable acto de insubordinación de los policías que se sentían, justa o injustamente, afectados en sus derechos.

Was there really a coup d'état in Ecuador? I suppose that to talk about a coup there should have been, at least, the clear attempt to overthrow the President to replace him with someone else. And in the case of what happened today the only thing that happened was a deplorable and unjustifiable act of insubordination from police officers who felt, rightly or wrongly, affected in their rights.

Ecuadorian media [es] confirmed the position of the political forces opposed to Correa and the announcement of former Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutiérrez about the military and police operation, although the latest news report a different and accusatory position [es] toward the government. Previously, it was reported that:

@teleSUR_tv: El ex presidente de Ecuador Lucio Gutiérrez, pidió disolver el Parlamento y llamar a elecciones presidenciales #PoliciaEc

@teleSUR_tv: Former Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutiérrez, asked to dissolve the Parliament and call for Presidential elections #PoliciaEc

On the other hand, Live Media Ecuador [es] recently informed:

Para el ex presidente ecuatoriano Lucio Gutiérrez, lo de ayer fue una maniobra de Correa, para “esconder la corrupción” en su Gobierno

For former Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutiérrez, what happened yesterday was a maneuver by Correa, to “hide corruption” in his Government


Citizen video of police strike

President Correa's rescue was followed minute by minute by national and foreign Twitter users, like Hernán Ramos (@b10_ecuador):

GOLPE EN #ECUADOR #RafaelCorrea ya está bajo protección militar. CONFIRMADO

COUP IN #ECUADOR #RafaelCorrea is under military protection. CONFIRMED

se reporta fuerte tiroteo en afueras del hospital, http://bit.ly/cbhorU, #Ecuador #CoberturaTwit

there are reports of heavy gunfire outside the hospital, http://bit.ly/cbhorU, #Ecuador #CoberturaTwit

The rescue itself was followed closely, amidst heavy gunfire and hundreds of people that were called to defend the president where he was being held. The images of the rescue, which can be seen in this video, were seen around the world thanks to the Internet.

A time for evaluation: Censorship, coup, uprising, media performance [es]

After the rescue, President Correa spoke from the presidential palace of Carondelet, and the page of the attempted coup or police uprising began to slowly close. However, the time for evaluation has just begun.

From Facebook FUNDAMEDIOS [es] denounces the national coverage imposed in Ecuador:

Censura y brutalidad contra la prensa nacional y extranjera durante el sublevamiento policiaco contra Rafael Correa

Censorship and brutality against the national and international press during the police uprising against Rafael Correa

Daniel Ochoa [es] in his blog provides a comprehensive evaluation in the post, “30s [September 30] a day in Ecuador that we hopefully learn something from!”

Para empezar, para mi no hubo intento de golpe de Estado, solo la sublevación de un grupo de policias (se constató que no fueron todos), los cuales no estaban ni siquiera bien informados, lo que hace pensar que hay alguien detrás de todo esto (movilizando a las masas). No hubo intento de golpe de Estado, porque la cúpula militar en dos ocaciones de forma oficial dijo que apoya totalmente al gobierno.

For starters, in my opinion there was no coup attempt, only the revolt of a group of cops (it was found that they were not all there), which were not even well informed, suggesting that there is someone behind it all (mobilizing the masses). There was no coup attempt, because the military leadership on two occasions officially said they fully support the government.

Official government sectors [es] condemn a coup attempt that they claim involves US intervention. Pablo Arciniegas in his blog Voces del Sur denounces that,

Solo las fuerzas y cerebros irracionales de la extrema derecha pudieron preparar tan burdo movimiento atentatorio contra la débil democracia en nuestro país, por medio de la infiltración en la filas policiales, manipulando las demandas de este sector.

Only the strength and irrational brain of the far right could have prepared such a coarse movement that threatens the weak democracy of our country, through the infiltration in police ranks, manipulating the demands of that sector.

Luis Alberto Mendieta in Política y Sociedad [es] says:

Por último, no dejó de asombrarme la impresionante coordinación que requirió A NIVEL NACIONAL, el digámoslo así, operativo policial para tumbar al gobierno, con un tufillo a imperialismo claramente perceptible; tanto, que no dejan de encontrarse extrañas similitudes entre el experimento de Honduras y lo que acaba de pasar en Ecuador…

Finally, what doesn't cease to amaze me is the amazing coordination that required at A NATIONAL LEVEL, let's say it that way, the police operation to overthrow the government, with a stink of imperialism that is clearly perceptible; so much, that there continues to be strange similarities discovered between the experiment in Honduras and what just happened in Ecuador…

Those that oppose the current government accuse it of using the uprising for political gain [es]. B10 [es] furthermore announces the rise of a new political actor in the country, the police:

La Policía del Ecuador se volvió noticia mundial por la sublevación coordinada de la tropa -secundada por oficiales- contra el Gobierno. El Presidente Correa, quien manejó mal la crisis y se expuso, fue ofendido y secuestrado por policías descontrolados. Luego llegó el violento rescate militar. Lo que nos faltaba: la Policía se estrenó como ‘actor político’…

The Ecuadorian Police became world-wide news because of the uprising coordinated by the troop -supported by officials- against the government. President Correa, who managed the crisis badly and exposed himself, was offended and kidnapped by police officers out of control. Then there was the violent military rescue. Just what we needed: the police premiered as ‘political actor’…

All these possibilities are still being discussed on Twitter and social networks, although there are also voices like that of Jorge Tapia (@jorge052)‎:

Eso es lo que queremos, que se haga trending topic, #PazParaMiPais #Ecuador

This is what we want, to make a trending topic, #PazParaMiPais [PeaceForMyCountry] #Ecuador

Pitonizza in her blog [es] reflects one side of the impact of yesterday's events:

Soy una ciudadana común que solía tener fe ciega en la revolución. Jamás en mis peores pesadillas imaginé que dicha revolución se convertiría en una grave revuelta. Que sería más importante demostrar quien es el más fuerte en vez de “dar el brazo a torcer” en defensa de la seguridad general y sobretodo las vidas y familias destruídas ayer. Soy una ciudadana común que siguió todo este horror desde casa, escuchando los helicópteros sobrevolar bajito, viendo imágenes que parecían sacadas de una película de acción gringa, cerrando puertas y ventanas por el miedo horrible que se apoderó de mí.

[...]
No estoy en bando alguno ahora. No tengo postura. Solo deseo la paz entre ecuatorianos, que sigamos siendo ese reducto de aparente tranquilidad que solíamos ser. Que mi hija herede un mejor lugar donde vivir. Que no tengamos que huir. Y que quienes están fuera, quieran regresar.
[...]

Este es un artículo que a título personal publico, con el riesgo de perder credibilidad de parte de quienes creían inamovible mi postura. Es de humanos equivocarse, es posible que nuevamente yo esté equivocada. No me importa ya ser juzgada, pues la frontalidad que me caracteriza es incompatible con quedarme callada, tibia o gris ante tan graves momentos que vivimos los ecuatorianos.

I am a common citizen that used to have blind faith on the revolution. I never, in my worst nightmares, imaged that the revolution would become a serious revolt. That it would be more important to show who was stronger than to ‘give in’ in defense of general security and above all for the lives and families that were destroyed yesterday. I am a common citizen that followed all that horror from home, hearing helicopters flying low, seeing images that seemed to be taken out of an American action movie, closing doors and windows because of the horrible fear that took over me.

[...]
Now I am on nobody's side. I have no standing. I just want peace among Ecuadorians, that we continue being that citadel of apparent tranquility that we used to be. That my daughter might inherit a better place to live. That we may not have to run away. And that those that are abroad, will want to come back.
[...]

This is an article that I publish as personal, with the risk of losing the credibility from those who thought that my standing was immovable. It is human to make mistakes, it is possible that I am wrong again. I don't care about being judged anymore, because the directness that characterizes me is incompatible with remaining silent, lukewarm or gray in front of such serious times we are living as Ecuadorians.

Thumbnail image from Flickr user Gabo Díaz, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic Crative Commons license

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