Ecuador Violence: Ecuador Police Take to Quito Streets (Photos)
On Thursday Ecuador Police Took to the Streets of Quito to Attack the President Over Cancellation of Bonuses and Promotions
President Rafael Correa said the the event was a 'coup attempt' when he appeared on TV a few hours after the police threw tear gas at him and was jostled by the crowd when he appeared on the street during the violence.
According to CNN, images on Ecuador TV showed mobs of people on the streets burning tires and garbage, and some looting was reported. It was unclear if all the people were police officers or some were citizens.
Correa was shown being led away to hospital leaning on a crutch as he underwent knee surgery recently, while another showed him on a stretcher.
He broadcast a message on TV from hospital a few hours later. He said he was prepared to die and called the attack 'cowardly'.
"They fired gas on us -- on the president of the republic," Correa said on the Ecuador TV telephone interview. "This is treason to the country, treason to their president."
There have been reports that the military has taken over the bases and the airport.
"This is the most serious protest that the government of Rafael Correa has faced," analyst Eduardo Gamarra told CNN en Español.
"I want to tell the country there has been an attempt at a coup," said Gabriel Rivera of the Country Accord Party.
"This is a Machiavellian plan organized by sectors of the right," Rivera said on Ecuador TV.
Government officials have said that the police have been misinformed about their bonuses and promotions, and the Minister for Interior Security said that those reports were based on a 'massive disinformation campaign'.
A spokesman for the police appeared on Teleamazonas, saying that the security forces were supporting Correa, and urged police on the streets to return things to normal and to 'stop this action'.
This violence comes after Correa threatened to dissolve the national assembly over a few laws, including public service and education, and police say they are already overworked and underpaid.
Diego Borja, director of the central bank, went on the air to urge calm and for people to take care.
"The police are not protecting the people. They are protesting," he said. "There could be problems."
The Peruvian President has ordered the closure of his country's border with Ecuador due to the unrest.
Below are a few twitpics from people in the region: