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  • Opposition trade unions and indigenous groups have also protested against taxes.
    In Depth

    Opposition trade unions and indigenous groups have also protested against taxes.

    Foto: 1/1 teleSUR

Right-wing sectors, along with opposition indigenous groups and trade union in Ecuador, have held protests in an attempt to destabilize the government.

In early June, right-wing opposition demonstrators began holding regular protests, mainly in the country's two largest cities, Quito and Guayaquil.

The protests were originally called in response to two bills presented by President Rafael Correa aimed at addressing inequality in the country. The bills would see the wealthy and upper middle classes paying higher taxes on inheritances and capital gains.

In an effort to promote dialogue, President Correa opted to temporarily withdraw the bills and lead a conversation in the country around equity, wealth redistribution, and other mechanisms to address inequality.

However, the right-wing protests have taken a distinctly political tone with major opposition politicians making a deliberate attempt to be the face of these protests.

In a worrisome turn, many protesters are also openly calling for the ousting of the democratically elected government of President Correa, who was elected in a landslide victory in 2013 with 57 percent of the vote.

Ecuadorean Interior Minister Jose Serrano revealed in July that intelligence had uncovered a plot to overthrow the government during protests, including a schemes to storm the presidential palace, block airports, and attack security forces.

After these protests, opposition indigenous groups and trade unions also called for demonstrations against the government, rejecting the president's call for dialogue and instead calling for escalating actions against the government.

Opposition Union, Indigenous Groups Work Against Government

The decision to call for an uprising against a socialist, popular, and democratically elected government has provoked a backlash from other indigenous leaders, many categorically rejecting this effort to undermine the government of Rafael Correa. teleSUR spoke with several grassroots leaders who instead believe that dialogue with this government will be more productive and will better address the needs of their people. READ MORE

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A disturbing video surfaced in June that appeared incite rebellion and encourage the Ecuadorean police force to join opposition protests and destabilization efforts against the president. The video is particularly alarming due to the role of the police in a 2010 coup attempt against President Rafael Correa.

The Previous Attempt to Overthrow Correa in 2010

The events of September 30, 2010, echo many others in Latin America’s past, when force was used to remove elected heads of state. The attempted coup against the president of Ecuador in 2010 in particular has parallels with one against President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2002, as well as the subsequent ousting of other progressive Latin American leaders in Honduras and Paraguay in 2009 and 2012.

The perpetrators of violence and human right abuses on that day led to the death of five people, all opposing the coup.

As testimonies have described, on September 30, 2010, an undemocratic and violent coup attempt to oust the elected President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa saw sections of the national police and military blockading highways, occupying Parliament and airports. They surrounded a police hospital where President Correa had sought refuge after being physically injured by the police. The police refused to let the president leave, capturing him for more than 12 hours. The room the president had taken shelter in was attacked by gunfire. As he was rescued from the hospital his car faced a rain of bullets that killed one of the people assigned to protect the president. Recordings of policemen can be heard calling out on their radios “Kill the President,” “Kill Correa,” “Don't let him leave.”

In what appeared to be a clear attempt at preventing the truth from coming out, supporters of the police action took over the state TV channel. Elsewhere other journalists were attacked. But the people who took to the streets in Ecuador in support of their elected president knew what was really afoot. As did the Union of South American Nations and the Organization of American States which described this as an attempted coup.

In the aftermath of the defeat of the coup, which occurred after the president was rescued by loyal soldiers, some sought to cover up the conspiracy. Some supporters of the coup d’état even alleged there was no coup attempt – again just as they had in Venezuela in 2002 – an assertion easily dismissed by anyone who has watched the documentary “Muchedumbre 30S.”

See Our Photo Gallery: Never Again — Remembering the Failed 2010 Coup in Ecuador

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