Ecuador's Government on Verge of Collapse as Police Attempt Coup
"This is a coup attempt," President Rafael Correa said in a telephone interview with a state-run TV station while hiding out in a hospital. "They're trying to get into my room, maybe to attack me. I don't know, but, forget it. I won't relent. If something happens to me, remember my infinite love for my country, and to my family I say that I will love them anywhere I end up."
However, it's not clear that the protests are very organized or that a coup is necessarily the aim.
Here's footage on the protest from CNN en Español:
Upon his election, Correa aligned Ecuador with Cuba, Venezuala, and Bolivia by joining the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. He also recently promised to extend ties between his country and Iran.
Though, the protests seems to have nothing to do with Correa's controversial international ties, and everything to do with a recent law that cut benefits, promotions and bonuses to the national police force, portions of the military, and other civil servants.
At the beginning of the protest, Correa defiantly took the street, and proclaimed, "If you want to kill the president, here he is! Kill me!"
He was pelted with water, tear gas and shoved around before fleeing to a nearby hospital. Though, no one attempted to take his life.
Officials in Correa's left leaning government claim that the law was misunderstood, and that the protest was the result of right-leaning forces trying to oust Correa.
Though the AP says that protests that were spontaneous, and no leaders have come forward.
However, police have taken over barracks through out many of the country's largest cities, and erected road blocks of burning tires on major roadways.
There are reports of spontaneous fires and looting.
[CNN International: Ecuador's president, claiming coup attempt, 'won't relent']
[AP: Protesting police throw Ecuador into chaos]
[BBCNews: Ecuador's President Correa denounces 'coup attempt']