The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A BIT OF HISTORY: President Gutierrez - Bush's Puppet in Ecuador Falls. Bucaram flees to Panama. Congress swears in Alfredo Palacio (Updated 4/21/05)

By Carlos Herrera - Bolivarian Activist - Axis of Logic Exclusive!
Apr 20, 2005, 16:40

The People of Ecuador Have Had Enough!

Update - April 21, 2005, 3:30 p.m. EST - According to radio news reports in Venezuela, Ex-president Lucio Gutierrez has just been granted political asylum in Brazil. Reports indicate he found refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Quito and may where he may already be in Brazil at 3:30 p.m. today.

Update - April 20, 2005, 7:40 p.m. EST - Ex-president Gutierrez has just asked for political exile to join Abdala Bucaram who has already fled to Panama.

Quito, April 20th 2005, 4:30 p.m. (EST)

I ended my last article, published on Axis of Logic 2 days ago - Ecuador: President Gutierrez on the Brink, with these words:

"Stay tuned for updates on Axis of Logic for what appears to be a dynamic transfer of power from the Gutierrez regime to the people".

Ecuador's president, Lucio Gutierrez was sacked today with events moving at lightening speed in Ecuador in the wake of massive protests by the People of Ecuador.

Protest marches took place in Quito (Ecuador’s largest city) and in Guayaquil, Cuenca and Riobamba. They were repressed by police using mainly tear gas and rubber bullets. They took a turn for the worse when a 58 year old Chilean journalist, Julio Garcia, died after suffering a cardiac arrest due to the effects of the gas. A 50,000 strong march in Quito was attacked by police trying to disperse protesters calling for President Gutierrez’s resignation. At least one hundred people were either injured or wounded on the streets of the capital.

Two students were shot to death near the Social Security building and the marchers blamed Bolivar Gonzalez for ordering the shooting by paid gunmen. Gonzalez is a Vice Minister in the Gutierrez government and strongly pro-USA. The marchers torched the building and are now looking for the assassins. Last reports indicate that the marchers were heading to the Presidential Palace.

Previous to this mayhem, Congress met with a 62 quorum of Deputies (100 seats in the Congress) and voted by 60 -2 to sack Gutierrez ‘for abandoning the Presidency’: It is reported that he would not accept this decision claiming that Congress did not have the constitutional power to sack him. Congress has just sworn in Vice President Alfredo Palacios as President, replacing Gutierrez at 4:30 p.m. (EST). If the people allow it, Vice President Palacio would serve out the remainder of Gutierrez' four-year term which expires in January 2007. Palacio is 63 years old, a cardiologist and a critic of Guitierrez in the past. However, Palacio decides to lead the government, he has heard the voice of the people loud and clear: As president his first loyalty must be to the people of Ecuador, not the multinational corporations who have had their government in tow until now.

The President of the Congress and militant of Gutierrez’ Roldosista Party Ecuatoriano Omar Quintana, was also voted out by the Deputies and they installed the Deputy Cynthia Viteri as Interim Vice President of the Congress.

Since last night the military high command was in session and has to all intents and purposes withdrawn its support for Gutierrez. The military was the former President’s main power base and it looks as if in the light of the country wide protests, they decided that enough was enough and left Gutierrez out on a limb.

These events were preceded by ministers jumping ship and the declaration of the First Lady, Ximena Bohorquez, saying that she was also an ‘outlaw’. The Police Commander, Jorge Poveda, also resigned as he was in disagreement with the repression taking place in Quito on orders from Gutierrez himself and his superior, the government minister Oscar Ayerve.

The visit of Southcom’s General Myers did little to calm down the situation last week and the talkative US Ambassador, Kristie Kenney, who likes to stick her nose into Ecuador’s internal affairs as a matter of ‘policy’ has shone by her absence and silence in the light of this popular rebellion against injustice, unbridled capitalism and broken electoral promises as well as outright police repression and citizens’ deaths and injuries.

In a final twist to these events, the fugitive ex President who returned to a fanfare just over two weeks ago, Abdala Bucaram fled to Ecuador with some of his supporters as soon as it became evident that his situation in Ecuador was untenable. It now remains to be seen what the two other ‘pardoned’ fugitives, Gustavo Noboa and Alberto Dahik, who were also ‘let off the hook’ by the illegally constituted Supreme Court will now do.

We will report and analyze what the outcome of this change in Ecuador means for the people. Care must be taken that right wing figures such as the Mayor of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, does not take up the reins of power as this could lead to a replay of this unfortunate state of affairs.

This is another blow to neoliberal madness in impoverished countries such as Ecuador, as the common people fight for their civil and human rights against the inroads of US foreign policy being used as a bridgehead for the installation of the global corporate empire.

This article originally appeared at Axis Of Logic

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