Ecuador calm after attack on president
QUITO – Ecuador was under a state of siege, the streets quiet with the military in charge of public order, after soldiers rescued President Rafael Correa from a hospital where he’d been surrounded by police who roughed him up and tear-gassed him earlier.
The chief of the national police, General Freddy Martinez, gave Correa his resignation because of Thursday’s revolt, police spokesman Richard Ramirez told The Associated Press.
Correa and his ministers called the events – in which insurgents also paralysed the nation with airport shutdowns and highway blockades – an attempt to overthrow him and not just a simple insurrection by angry security force members over a new law that would cut benefits for public servants.
The region’s presidents quickly showed their support for Correa, rushing to a meeting in Buenos Aires early yesterday and condemning what many called a coup attempt and kidnapping of Correa. The United States also warned those who threatened Ecuador’s democracy that the leftist Correa had Washington’s full support. (AP)