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Early this morning, Ecuadorians woke up to a state of national unrest as sections of the national police and military coordinated nation-wide protests against President Rafael Correa's democratically-elected government. Demonstrating against sweeping public service reforms that affect benefits for police and military personnel, hundreds of insubordinate police and military members overtook police stations and an air force base and shut down the country's main international airport.  

As President Correa took to Quito's streets to dialogue with the demonstrators, he was struck by tear gas and injured, forcing him to evacuate to a national police hospital. In an interview from his hospital bed, Correa insisted that the protests were a coup d'etat attempt by the opposition.

At the time of writing, rebel police forces have stormed into President Correa's hospital room and are holding him hostage. According to the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, the President's life is in danger.  The Security Minister has declared a state of emergency, and senior officials in the Ecuadorian Armed Forces remain loyal to the Correa government. In a show of support, Correa supporters are leading a rally to the hospital where he remains. There are reports of confrontations between Correa supporters and rebel police forces.

While the exact political context remains unclear, it is ostensible that this coup attempt was manufactured by a few people in the opposition who command influence over the army and in the police.

As the Organization of American States meets in an extraordinary session and the US State Department weighs US-Ecuador relations, it is imperative that the US stand in solidarity with the democratically-elected government of President Rafael Correa.

Demand that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton support democracy in Ecuador. Insist that the Obama administration unconditionally support President Rafael Correa and his democratically-elected government.

Contact Anaida Haas, Ecuador Desk Officer at the US State Department, and demand that the State Department issue a statement saying the US will not recognize any government other than that of President Rafael Correa.

Ecuador Desk Officer
US State Department
(202) 647-2807
haasa@state.gov

Contact your Congresspersons and demand that they encourage President Obama to issue a statement saying the US will not recognize any government other than that of President Rafael Correa.

If you're a California resident, contact information is as follows:

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
(202) 225-0100

Dianne Feinstein
US Senator (CA)
(202) 224-3841

Barbara Boxer
US Senator (CA)
(202) 224-3553

Thank you, as always, for your work on behalf of peace and justice,
Global Exchange
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