Coup Attempt in Ecuador: Take Action

Ecuador Solidarity Network: Attempted coup d’etat in Ecuador. Take Action.

Following a coordinated protest by police across Ecuador earlier
today, President Rafael Correa remains sequestered in the police
hospital in the capital city of Ecuador. Citizens are demonstrating in
the city centre and outside of the hospital to demand Correa’s freedom
and the maintenance of democratic and constitutional order in the
country. Police are reportedly attacking the demonstration near the
hospital with heavy use of tear gas.

The government maintains that it will not negotiate with the police
until the President has been freed and have been denouncing the
measure as an attempted coup. The government alleges that sectors of
the Ecuadorian right wing, such as ex-President Lucio Gutierrez who
was deposed in a popular coup d’etat in April 2005, are behind today’s
events. While the situation remains tense in the nation’s capital,
police are reported to have largely gone back to work in other parts
of the country. A report from the Latin American Information Agency
about today’s events has been translated below.

Civil society organizations, such as the Confederation of Indigenous
Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and the National Confederation of
Campesino, Indigenous and Black Organizations (FENOCIN) along with
other sectors, are denouncing today’s events. The CONAIE, which has
had a difficult relationship with the government of President Correa
in past years given differences over extractive industry expansion and
other state reforms, states that despite tensions over the country’s
process of change they “will defend democracy and the rights of the
people” and “reject the actions of the right that in an undercover way
form part of the attempted coup d’état.” Their full press release is
included as an unofficial translation below.

The Organization of American States has rejected any attempt to alter
democratic order in Ecuador today and the US Department of State has
urged Ecuadorians “to work within the framework of Ecuador’s
democratic institutions to reach a rapid and peaceful restoration of


President Rafael Correa remains trapped inside of the police hospital in Quito

Ecuador: Attempted coup

Eduardo Tamayo G.

ALAI AMLATINA, 30/09/2010 – President Correa denounced that Ecuador is
experiencing an attempted coup organized by the opposition. Correa,
who is currently in the police hospital in Quito, recovering from
police aggression, denounced that various members of the police were
trying to enter his room, holding the police responsible for whatever
might happen.

Citizens demonstrated in the centre of Quito to support President
Correa where Foreign Affairs Mininster Ricardo Patiño called for the
President to be rescued from the police hospital.

Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, Ernesto González,
declared his support for Correa and assured that the military remains
subordinate to the government’s authority.

These moments of tension have come about in Ecuador following passage
of the Public Services Law in the National Assembly last night, over
which police from the Quito Regiment along with various police across
the country began protesting this morning. They are demanding that
various benefits, such as medals, bonuses and other benefits, not be
retracted. The government has responded saying that the police have
received substantial salary increases and that the bonuses, that will
allegedly be taken away, will be compensated for in their wages.

The protests led to serious incidents when President Rafael Correa was
attacked with tear gas by the police after arriving at the Quito\
Regiment at 9:30am in an attempt at dialogue. Correa, who is
recovering from a knee operation, spoke to the police saying, “If you
want to kill me, kill me.” In response, according to Correa’s reports,
the police threw tear gas at him, causing him to fall on his knee,
after which he had to be supported by the shoulders into the police
hospital where he is currently (as of 12:30pm).

The police also took over the National Assembly building and attacked
assembly members along with one journalist from TeleAmazonas.

According to Radio La Luna, the assembly member who was attacked was
Linda Machuca. Assembly Member for Alianza País (Correa’s Country
Alliance party) Paco Velasco indicated that the aggression against
assembly members is evidence of a conspiracy.

With police activities suspended, the streets, banks, airport, and
other areas were left unguarded. In Guayas province, the police
blocked the bridge that allows vehicle access to the city of
Guayaquil. The police also took to the streets of Guayaquil, burning
tires and interrupting traffic. Delinquents took advantage of the lack
of police vigilance to commit assaults and robberies in both Guayaquil
and the city of Cuenca.

Orlando Pérez, leader of the official political movement Alianza País,
said that ex-President Lucio Gutierrez is behind the conspiracy along
with his supporters in the Patriotic Society Party (PSP).

Assembly Member Cléver Jimenez, head of the indigenous Pachakutik
party, asked for President Correa to resign on behalf of the
Pachakutick party, and called for social movements to form a single
national front.

Groups of citizens demonstrated in the streets of Quito, gathering in
Independence Plaza in front of the Government’s Palace. Later, they
moved toward the police hospital in northwest Quito to try to rescue
President Correa. Groups of police, in the area of the Quito Regiment
and elsewhere, attacked citizens that demonstrated support for Correa.

The former president of the National Assembly, Alberto Acosta,
indicated on Public Radio that this is the moment to reject this
attempted coup, wherever it comes from and that it is necessary to
sanction those who have carried out this abuse of power. Regardless of
whether the police are correct in their demands, he said, this is not
the appropriate way to protest. Citizens, he added, should mobilize in
the defense of democracy, as well as in defense of the life of the
President of the Republic.

For original in Spanish:


From the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE):

We call for unity among social organizations for a plurinational
peoples’ democracy

Indigenous groups respond to attempted coup d’état in Ecuador

An unofficial translation of a press release from the Confederation of
Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, the CONAIE, on September 30,

A process of change, as weak as it may be, runs the risk of being
overturned or overtaken by the right, old or new, if it does not
establish alliances with organized social and popular sectors, and
deepen progressively.

The insubordination of the police, beyond their immediate demands,
lays bare at least four substantial things:

1. While the government has dedicated itself exclusively to attacking
and delegitimizing organized sectors like the Indigenous movement,
workers’ unions, etc., it hasn’t weakened in the least the structures
of power of the right, or those within the state apparatus, which has
become evident through the rapidity of the response from the public

2. The social crisis that was let loose today was also provoked by the
authoritarian character and the non-opening to dialogue in the
lawmaking process. We have seen how laws that were consensed around
were vetoed by the President of the Republic, closing any possibility
of agreement.

3. Faced with the criticism and mobilization of communities against
transnational mining, oil, and agro-industrial companies, the
government, instead of creating a dialogue, responds with violence and
repression, as occurred in Zamora Chinchipe.

4. This scenario nurtures the conservative sectors. Already various
sectors and people from the old right are asking for the overthrow of
the government and the instalation of a civil or military
dictatorship; but the new right, from inside and outside the
government, will use this context to justify their total alliance with
the most reactionary sectors and with emerging business interests.

The Ecuadorian Indigenous movement, CONAIE, with its regional
Confederations and its grassroots organizations states before
Ecuadorian society and the international community their rejection to
the economic and social policies of the government, and with the same
energy we reject the actions of the right that in an undercover way
form part of the attempted coup d’état, and to the contrary we will
continue to struggle for the construction of a Plurinational State
with a true democracy.

Consistent with the mandate of the communities, peoples and
nationalities and faithful to our history of struggle and resistance
against colonialism, discrimination and exploitation of those who are
below, of the poor, we will defend democracy and the rights of the
people: no concessions for the right.

In these critical moments, our position is:

1. We convene our bases to maintain themselves alert and ready to
mobilize in defense of true Plurinational democracy and against the
actions of the right.

2. We deepen our mobilization against the extractive model and the
imposition of large scale mining, the privatization and concentration
of water, and the expansion of the oil frontier.

3. We convene and join together with diverse organized sectors to
defend the rights of workers, affected by the arbitrariness which has
driven the legislative process, recognizing that they are making
legitimate demands.

4. We demand that the national government firmly depose every possible
concession to the right. We demand that the government abandons its
authoritarian attitude against the popular sectors, that they not
criminalize social protest and the persecution of leaders: the only
thing this type of politics provokes is to open spaces to the Right
and create spaces of destabilization.

The best way to defend democracy is to begin a true revolution that
resolves the most urgent and structural questions to the benefit of
the majority. On this path is the effective construction of the
Plurinational state and the immediate initiation of an agrarian
revolution and a de-privatization of water.

This is our position in this context and in this historical period.

Marlon Santi

Delfín Tenesaca

Tito Puanchir

Olindo Nastacuaz



Quito, September 30, 2010

In Latin America we have gone from bloody military dictatorship to the
dictatorship of transnational capital to neoliberalism. The sectors
that benefit from this have always been the same (bankers, commercial
entrepreneurs, landowners). And we the impoverished, Indigenous,
workers, men and women, have always been the victims, but we have
always been fighters who stand for democracy of the oppressed. With
this strength and legitimacy we reject any dictatorship from where
ever it comes.

The political crisis in Ecuador at this moment caused by the
insubordination of the police has been turned by police officers and
some military sectors into a coup attempt, behind which is undoubtedly
Ecuador’s rightwing and the forces of imperialism.

We have no doubt that this political crisis is a right-wing reaction
against the 2008 Constitution, adopted by the affirmative vote of 64%
of Ecuadorians, and is therefore a clear threat to democracy,
Plurinationalism, and the Sumak Kawsay (living well).

In the geopolitical dimension it is also a threat to the Venezuelan
and Bolivian processes. It is not coincidental that reactionary
sectors of the country celebrated the attempts of destabilization in
the Venezuelan elections. They had this same attitude toward attempts
to overthrow the Bolivian government. Now the conservative sectors of
the country have been adding to these dictatorial attempts.

What is the position of the organized social sectors? The vast
majority of popular organizations that resist against dictatorship and
neo-liberalism of the pro-imperialist oligarchy in Ecuador, and
despite our deep disagreements with the national government that has
tried  some of our leaders as terrorists, this is no reason to stand
with our historic enemies. Behind the protest of the police and their
wage claims is the claim of ignorance of the Constitution where we
recognize many of our proposals and historical struggles.

Rafael Correa’s Citizen Revolution formed broad alliances with
right-wing groups in mining, oil, agribusiness, etc., and attacked and
persecuted popular left-wing organizations (especially the Indigenous
movement) which leaves those reactionary sectors free to act in this

Leaving no room for confusion, our position is:

1. Reject the coup attempt and defend the Plurinational State.

2. We declare ourselves in permanent assemblies and alert to mobilize
in defense of plurinationalism.

3. As part of a plurinational democracy, the only revolutionary
alternative is to fight against supporters of the dictatorship, and to
deepen urgent changes in the process of agrarian revolution.

4. We gather ourselves in a large plurinational dialogue of all
Ecuadorians, in an atmosphere of peace and democracy to build a large
plurinational consensus as the best way to resolve the crisis

We have already suffered too much with dictatorships, Honduras still
hurts. No more dictatorship in Latin America.

For the Governing Council

Delfín Tenesaca


In the US or Canada? Take Action!

For U.S. citizens who are concerned about today’s events, please
consider taking action and write U.S. officials. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton has already released a statement in support of
President Correa. It is important that the U.S. government take a
strong stand in support of democracy in Ecuador:

To contact the State Department:
Fax: 202-647-0834, Voice: 202 647-4000

To contact Senators and Representatives:

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

To contact White House:
and White House Comment Line 202-456-1414

cc: Ecuador Solidarity Network

Expressions of solidarity with the people of Ecuador may also be sent
to the following organizations:

ALAI, Latin American Information Agency, and

FENOCIN, the National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous and Black

CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador,

cc: Ecuador Solidarity Network


For Canadian citizens who are concerned about today’s events, please
consider writing to the Canadian Ambassador in Ecuador and Minister
Peter Kent:

Ambassador Andrew Shisko
Embassy of Canada in Ecuador
Av. Amazonas 4153 and Unión Nacional de Periodistas
Eurocenter Building, 3rd Floor
P.O. Box 17-11-6512
Quito – Ecuador

Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
110 Justice Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 992-0253
Fax: (613) 992-0887

cc: Ecuador Solidarity Network