The government of Ecuador recently announced that it would cut benefits for state workers nationwide, including police and troops. This announcement has forced massive protests all over the country.
A few hours ago, Ecuador police officers and soldiers took over the Quito airport and shut it down. After taking over bases in Quito, Guayaquil and other cities, the police officers fired tear gas and burned tires. It is unknown at this time if flights have been cancelled. No injuries have been reported.
President Rafael Correa attempted several times to speak with the protestors but was shouted down. According to the Associated Press
, Correa stated: “They are a bunch of ungrateful bandits. No one has supported the police as much as this government.”
When there was a confrontation with the police, the President told them: “'If you want to kill me, shoot; here I am, shoot me.” He was later taken to a nearby hospital after suffering injuries from bottles being thrown at him.
According to CNN
, in a television interview from his hospital room, the President stated that a coup d’etat has been attempted: “This is a coup attempt.” Meanwhile, mobs are still burning tires, looting stores and worsening the situation at hand.
Schools have closed and students are being told to stay home.
for more photos.