Oct 1, 2010

Ecuador declares state of emergency after huge chaos by police

Ecuador was forced to declare a state of emergency on Thursday afternoon and the President of the country narrowly escaped after what President Rafael Correa called a "coup attempt" by police and soldiers angered by a new austerity measures ending bonuses and other benefits for civil servants, according to news reports from the South American nation.

Look at the incidents occurred on Thursday night in Ecuador's Capital Quito

Police officers occupied the National Assembly and troops seized the main airport in the capital, Quito. Protesting security forces occupied several barracks and set up road blocks across the country, demanding the government abandon the austerity measures, passed yesterday by Congress.

Members of Correa's left-wing party said they would block efforts to shrink the government, and he is considering disbanding Congress and ruling by decree until new elections can be held, the BBC reports.

Correa, who had knee surgery last week and is using a cane, had to flee a military barracks after protesting security forces fired tear gas. "If you want to kill the president, here he is! Kill me!" he said, before being taken to a hospital.

Speaking to Ecuador TV by telephone from a hospital room, where he said he was hooked to an intravenous drip to help him recover from the tear gas, Correa called the unrest "a coup attempt" by the opposition. "This is treason to the country, treason to their president," he said.

Looting was reported in the capital and in the coastal city of Guayaquil. In response to the chaos, Peru has closed its border with Ecuador.

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