Press release

CADTM rejoices at the failure of the coup in Ecuador

2 October 2010 by CADTM


CADTM rejoiced at the failure of the attempted coup in Ecuador and supports popular mobilisation to stand up for social and democratic advances.

On Thursday 30 September an attempted coup failed in Ecuador. A significant portion of the national police sequestered president Rafael Correa after he urged policemen to accept the law on public services which had been adopted at its first reading by the national assembly on 29 September 2010. The aim of this law is to end certain financial benefits enjoyed by police and armed forces.
A sector of the armed forces, including air force personnel, together with police, took control of the country’s main airports for about twelve hours.

Former president Lucio Guttierez, who stood down in 2005 in the wake of public protests, and speaking from Brasilia, declared his support for the coup and demanded an end to Rafael Correa’s mandate. A group of opponents to Rafael Correa, among whom undercover policemen and Pablo Guerrero, Lucio Guttierez’ lawyer and an active member in his party, forced their way into the public radio and television buildings in the afternoon of Thursday 30 September. The situation was confused at police headquarters. Rafael Correa was sequestered for some twelve hours in the police hospital.

While the armed forces high command claimed that it supported its president it delayed restoring constitutional order through Rafael Correa’s release. It probably conditioned its support on concessions to the military’s demands. CONAIE, i.e. the main organisation of indigenous peoples in Ecuador, denounced the coup while maintaining its objections to governmental policies. Eventually around 9.30 p.m. on 30 September, the army faced the rebel police forces and liberated the president. It looks as though this prevented a tragic outcome to the mutiny, which might have led to a fullblown coup. Even so, the situation is volatile and vigilance is the order of the day. After the victorious military coup in Honduras in 2009, which benefited from the support of Washington and its allies in the area, there is a clear risk of other coups being attempted. Right-wing parties in Paraguay openly consider the possibility.

Along with many other bodies and associations CADTM insists that President Rafael Correa is a democratic president. He was elected to office twice (in 2006 and 2010) in democratic presidential elections. Since the beginning of his mandate, his government has implemented a series of positive measures: a democratic process of political reform which led to a new constitution for the country in 2008; a newly affirmed declaration of independence resulting in an end to the US army’s occupation of the Manta base; an audit of the public debt (in which CADTM actively collaborated) which led to suspension of repayments, which in turn enabled the volume of debt to be significantly reduced; an increase in social spending; the promotion of Latin-American integration; an environmental initiative to end oil drilling in the Amazonian rain forest on the Yasuni reservation; the creation of public service television and radio in a country where the mass media was until then entirely controlled by big private corporations, and more specifically by the country’s private banks. These advances have been enabled through strong popular mobilization over the last 15 years. Though these advances may be modest and certainly insufficient in scope, the various democratic changes brought about since Rafael Correa’s election at the end of 2006 have engendered fierce opposition from the conservative sectors who are accustomed to use government as a medium for defending their interests.

As the attempted coup d’état progressed, citizens and organizations massed in Ecuador on Thursday 30 to demand the release of Rafael Correa. Once he was free again he addressed part of his partisans on the public square in front of the presidential palace.

While CADTM has never failed to take a critical stand on Rafael Correa’s government when it considered its actions contrary to the ongoing process of emancipation, it firmly denounces the attempted coup of 30 September. Constitutional order must be respected, democracy must be reaffirmed, and Rafael Correa must enjoy full freedom to pursue his mandate. CADTM calls for international support of the popular movement to defend democracy. The democratic process currently underway in Ecuador must be achieved through thorough-going economic and social reforms.

Translated by Judith Harris and Christine Pagnoulle

Contact : Eric Toussaint, president of CADTM Belgium, eric.toussaint4 at gmail.com
Damien Millet, spokesman for CADTM France, damien.millet at cadtm.org
Jérôme Duval, Patas Arriba – CADTM Spain djino68 at gmail.com
Daniel Munevar and William Gaviria, CADTM Abya Yala Nuestra America, Colombia, danielmunevar at cadtm.org and wgocampo at gmail.com
Enith Flores, CADTM Ecuador, enithlisa at yahoo.es



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