Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Debate Over Meaning of Standoff in Ecuador

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on October 4, 2010

by Simon Romero for The New Tork Times, October 3rd, 2010.

The clock had struck 9 p.m. last Thursday. President Rafael Correa had been holed up on the third floor of the police hospital here for more than 10 hours after being assaulted by a clutch of rebellious police officers. Dozens still lurked near the entrance, quarreling with security forces that had arrived to free the president.

This Andean nation was on tenterhooks. It was time to act.

Amid the din of gunfire, an elite special operations squad entered the hospital, grasping M-16 assault rifles. Their voices crackled over Motorola radios. Arriving at Room 302, they put a helmet on Mr. Correa. Electricity in parts of the hospital went down. Using night-vision goggles, the soldiers guided him to his vehicle.

“God! An intense exchange of bullets is under way, I’m stuck in a bathroom,” Susana Morán, a reporter for the newspaper El Comercio, frantically wrote in a Twitter message shortly before 9 p.m. Her followers on Twitter climbed to more than 6,000 from 600 as she sent updates from inside the hospital. (continue reading… )

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