Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Emergency in Ecuador: Some police and military officials in violently protest against President Correa.

With a gas mask on his head, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gestures as he runs away from tear gas during a protest of police officers and soldiers against a new law that cuts their benefits at a police base in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday. Mr. Correa tried to speak with a group of police protesters but was shouted down.

With a gas mask on his head, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gestures as he runs away from tear gas during a protest of police officers and soldiers against a new law that cuts their benefits at a police base in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday. Mr. Correa tried to speak with a group of police protesters but was shouted down.

QUITO, Ecuador—Protests Thursday against an overhaul of public-sector worker benefits turned into what Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa called an attempt at a coup d’état.

Members of the national police and some military officials walked off the job and closed down the airport in the capital, Quito. Protests quickly spread to other cities, leading to roadblocks, rioting and the closure of banks after several were robbed.

Mr. Correa’s government declared a state of emergency for five days, mobilizing the armed forces. Mr. Correa, a U.S.-trained economist, went to a police hospital after being affected by tear gas when he was at a police barracks trying to quell the unrest early in the morning. His office said he wasn’t able to leave the hospital due to police protesters surrounding the building.

Mr. Correa and his cabinet ministers said the protests were an attempt by the opposition to destabilize his government, and blamed “insubordinate” members of the police and the military.

“We aren’t going to let the constitutional order be broken. Nothing is going to stop the citizen revolution,” said Mr. Correa, who has moved Ecuador to the left of the political spectrum since taking office in 2007.

Mr. Correa also blamed the unrest on…READ MORE HERE